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2 killed, 2 critically wounded after lightning strike near White House

The two men and two women struck by lightning Thursday while visiting Washington's Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, were among the unlucky few - struck by a bolt that hit the ground during a violent, afternoon thunderstorm.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published August 05,2022

Two of the four people who were taken to a local hospital with critical injuries following an apparent lightning strike near the White House have died, police said on Friday.

James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, both from Janesville, Wisconsin, died after being injured in a lightning strike on Thursday evening in Lafayette Park, which sits in front of the executive mansion. The two other victims remain in critical condition, according to the DC Metro Police.

The White House issued a statement offering condolences for "the trafic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park," with spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre saying: "Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives."

The victims-two men and two women-were found unconscious at the scene and taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Secret Service and US Park Police officers in the area saw the strike happen and immediately began providing assistance.

The National Weather Service (NWS) had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the DC area Thursday evening.

The Washington, DC fire department warn of a "high probability" of additional severe thunderstorms on Friday, urging people to head indoors if they hear thunder.