DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been injured after lightning struck a Lake Superior beach area in northeastern Minnesota.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Jarry Keppers says a 9-year-old boy is in “very serious” condition and at least three adults are also seriously hurt. They have been taken to hospitals.

Keppers tells The Associated Press that a family and their friends were having a private gathering in a public beach area when lightning struck near them Saturday evening. He says it’s not clear if lightning struck a 26-foot sailboat tied up near the group, but it hit close to them.

Rescue workers responded shortly after 5:30 p.m. The area is about three miles from Sky Harbor Airport on the end of Minnesota Point in Duluth, close to the Wisconsin state line.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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