Five Israelis were injured Tuesday after they were struck by lighting on Zikim beach in southern Israel, near the city of Ashkelon, according to medical officials.
The victims are members of the Hazut family from the southern city of Beersheba. Some initial reports from the scene said three of them had touched a piece of metal equipment on the beach just as it was struck by lightning.
Thirteen-year-old Asher Hazut was critically injured, Channel 12 reported. A woman in her 20s sustained serious injuries, while the condition of the other three was described as moderate.
All the victims were taken to Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon for further treatment.
“I didn’t see what happened,” 17-year-old Elhanan Hazut, who was moderately hurt, told Channel 13. “Suddenly I woke up and saw my kippah was burned.”
A medic from the Magen David Adom medical service said earlier that two of the victims were without a pulse and weren’t breathing when they arrived on the scene, but one victim was awake.
The incident came amid powerful lightning storms that have hit Israel on Monday night and Tuesday, from the Golan Heights in the north to the country’s south.
The volatile weather earlier caused two sukkahs — makeshift huts used during the Jewish festival of Sukkot — to catch fire in the ultra-Orthodox city of Beitar Illit in the West Bank. Reports said strong winds had likely carried sparks from brush fires that broke out. Police temporarily closed several streets and disconnected them from electricity to contain the blaze.
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