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California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

Tuesday - 7/29/2014, 7:09pm  ET

Doves fly away over a memorial paddle-out for Joe Larson, the original owner of Hinano, as the US Coast Guard holds training exercises at Venice Beach in Los Angeles Monday, July 28, 2014. Los Angeles' popular Venice Beach teemed with people enjoying a weekend outing on the boardwalk and sand when lifeguards and other witnesses say lightning from a rare summer thunderstorm hit without warning, injuring or rattling more than a dozen people and leaving a 21-year-old man dead. The witnesses said the strike hit with a tremendous boom about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, rattling buildings and showering a lifeguard headquarters with sparks. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An off-duty lifeguard who was critically injured during a rare lightning strike at Los Angeles' Venice Beach is said to be improving steadily.

City News Service reported Tuesday that the man, whose name was not released, remains hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where his condition has been upgraded from critical to fair.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe says the man, in his 50s, is "making a good recovery."

Sunday's lightning strike killed 21-year-old college student Nick Fagnano and injured a dozen others. The lifeguard suffered the most severe injuries.

The lightning was caused when warm, subtropical air from Mexico collided with the region's cool marine layer. The result was a brief but violent thunderstorm that struck the beach where thousands were gathered on a warm summer day.


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