Two killed in lightning strike outside White House

Another two people are in critical condition

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Two people were killed and two others received life-threatening injuries in a lightning strike outside the White House in Washington, police said on Friday.

James Mueller and Donna Mueller of Janesville, Wisconsin, died of their injuries after the lightning strike on Thursday night in Lafayette Park, located directly outside the White House complex, the DC Metropolitan Police Department said.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.”

Police said the two injured people, a man and a woman, were in critical condition. Their identities were not immediately released.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the region on Thursday night.

Secret Service and Park Police officials said they witnessed the lightning strike and rushed to supply first aid. Fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said emergency medical crews were called to the scene at about 7pm local time.

All of the victims were transported to a nearby hospital with “critical” injuries, he said.

DC Fire and EMS urged people to seek shelter in the event of thunder. People are also advised not to stand under trees, to stay away from windows and doors, and to wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder to exit shelter.

Updated: August 05, 2022, 6:05 PM