Fierce winds swept over Southern California on Wednesday, blowing a 25-foot sailboat into a Newport Beach jetty and toppling a tree onto a van, seriously injuring an Anaheim maintenance man.
The 60-mph winds also spread a fire from a tire warehouse onto a hillside adjacent to Cal State Los Angeles, destroyed a home and damaged two others. Additionally, a passenger on Disneyland's Jungle Cruise ride suffered minor injuries when the wind blew over a banana tree.
The first reports of the boat mishap at the Wedge near Newport Harbor came about 3:45 p.m.
"We're trying to determine whether anyone was aboard," said Jennifer Schulz, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Fire Department.
A search failed to find anyone, and late Wednesday, officials said it was still unclear whether anyone had been aboard the boat when it went into the rocks.
"It's extremely windy, and the water is rough," Schulz said.
The craft, she said, began breaking up on the rock jetty, then was partially submerged. Debris was scattered as far as Crystal Cove State Beach, about a mile south.
Police and Harbor Patrol officials, Schulz said, were trying to contact the boat's owner to determine whether anyone may have been aboard as the search continued.
Across the county in Anaheim, the winds blew down a 60-foot ficus tree, smashing the roof of a parked van in which a maintenance man was taking a break.
The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m. in the 300 block of Archer Street.
"It fell right on top of him and crushed his head against the roof," said Phil Aguilar, a pastor who lives down the street.
"I ran over to him and said, 'Are you alive?' He said, 'Yes, but I can't breathe.' I prayed with him for the next few minutes until the firemen arrived. By the time they got him out, he couldn't speak or move his fingers."
The man, whose name was not released, was cut out of the van with an air chisel before being airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange with "very serious, life-threatening" injuries, said Mary Sabol, a spokeswoman for the Anaheim Fire Department.
The mishap at Disneyland occurred at 12:40 p.m. when the wind blew a banana tree over; one of its fronds struck a 17-year-old girl aboard the Jungle Cruise.
She was hospitalized with minor neck injuries.
"She wasn't hit by the full force of the frond," Sabol said. "We believe the boat's railing broke its fall."
The attraction was shut down two hours for inspection, a Disneyland spokesman said.
In Los Angeles County, meanwhile, about 100 firefighters were battling the blaze near Cal State L.A. that sent plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.
The fire was out within 90 minutes, shortly before 6 p.m.
Earlier in the day, strong winds whipped up a 15-acre brush fire on hilly terrain in Castaic.
That blaze was reported to be 85% contained late Wednesday.
Times staff writer Dave McKibben contributed to this report.