At least three people died and 22 were injured at the Argentine seaside resort of Villa Gesell when a lightning bolt struck amid people taking refuge from a sudden downpour, authorities said Thursday.
The dead are two males ages 19 and 21 and a 17-year-old female.
Among the 22 people injured, 16 are adults and six are children, according to Juan Chamorro, the director of Arturo Illia Hospital.
"The majority are out of danger. But there are two adult women in the intensive care unit, one of them with a serious prognosis who is said to have drowned. We are trying to stabilize her," Chamorro told the media.
"Some received a direct shock (from the lightning bolt) and others were lifted and thrown a distance by the expansive wave," he said. "Many are suffering from hypothermia. Others cannot move their lower limbs, but we think they are recovering."
The initial version of the incident was that the bolt hit the beach among a number of tents, where tourists had taken refuge from a thunderstorm.
The mayor of Villa Gesell, located some 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the Argentine capital, Jorge Rodriguez Erneta, said that the incident was "a tragedy," adding that the bolt hit after a torrential downpour.
Osvaldo Garcia, the owner of the resort, said that he saw "ball lightning and a tremendous noise was heard," adding that one of the bodies of the dead was severely burned while the person had been riding an all-terrain vehicle. EFE