Across the street from the White House, shown here in 2021, is Lafayette Park. On Thursday, a lightning strike there hit four people, and two of them were pronounced dead on Friday.
Two people were killed and two others are in critical condition after lightning struck at the park next to the White House in Washington, D.C.
Emergency responders received a report about people found injured in Lafayette Park at 6:52 p.m. on Thursday evening. U.S. Park Police and members of the U.S. Secret Service who were in the area at the time also rushed to assist the four people hurt. No property or vehicles were damaged by the strike, said D.C. Fire and EMS official Vito Maggiolo.
It is believed that the four might have been struck while they were near a tree during the heavy downpour, Maggiolo told NPR.
On Friday morning, 76-year-old James Mueller and 75-year-old Donna Mueller, both from Janesville, Wis., were pronounced dead, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
As more thunderstorms are expected in the U.S. Capital Friday evening, Maggiolo advises people to stay indoors.
“If you see lightning or hear thunder, you should seek shelter inside of a building or a vehicle. Do not attempt to seek shelter under a tree,” he said.