Florida beach lightning strike leaves 1 in critical condition, 7 others injured

One person was struck by lightning and seven others nearby were also injured by the impact Sunday, officials said.

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A group of people was at Clearwater Beach near Frenchy’s Rockaway restaurant when a man was struck by lightning around 12:42 p.m., causing him to have a heart attack, officials said.

He was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, officials said. Another person was taken to a hospital with burn injuries. Three others were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. Another three people refused transport.

Lifeguards had left their towers around 12:30 p.m. as severe thunderstorms began to roll through the area.

“Beachgoers should take cover and go to a safe place when lightning and thunder are present,” officials said.

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