A teenage lifeguard has been killed by a lightning strike that injured six others during a heavy storm at a seaside park.
The tragedy happened on Monday, August 30, in New Jersey, the US, as extreme weather moved through the state.
Heavy downpours, frequent lightning bolts and very strong winds were reported during the storms, which moved through South Jersey on Monday evening.
Phil Murphy, the governor of New Jersey, paid tribute to the 19-year-old and to those who were injured at South Seaside Park on the Jersey Shore.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of the young lifeguard killed by today's horrific lightning strike on the beach in Berkeley Township, and we pray for a full recovery for those injured,” he said.
“I've spoken to Mayor Carmen Amato and offered the full support and assistance of our administration during this difficult time.”
All six of those who were injured – who were reportedly aged between 15 and 56 – were taken to hospital for treatment.
They were displaying symptoms including headaches and dizziness.
It is the second time a young New Jersey lifeguard has been killed in recent weeks.
Norman Inferrera, a rookie lifeguard in Cape May, was rowing a lifeguard boat on August 19 when a wave knocked him unconscious. He was taken to hospital but died a few days later.
The incidents come at a time when the US is being rocked by extreme weather.
Over the weekend, Hurricane Ida battered a number of southern states, with Louisiana particularly badly hit. The hurricane, thought to be one of the strongest recorded in the US, has left more than a million people without power – and forecasters are predicting stifling heat over the coming days.
Meanwhile, huge wildfires have been roaring out of control in the west of the country with millions of acres destroyed.
Yesterday, thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate the tourist city of South Lake Tahoe in California as fires rage ever closer.
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