Two people were killed and two others are in critical condition after lightning struck the park next to the White House in Washington, DC
Emergency personnel received a report of people found injured in Lafayette Park at 6:52 p.m. Thursday night. US Park Police and members of the US Secret Service who were in the area at the time also rushed to help the four injured people. No property or vehicles were damaged by the strike, DC Fire and EMS official Vito Maggiolo said.
It’s believed the four may have been hit 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 of Janesville, Wis., were pronounced dead, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life following the lightning strike in Lafayette Park. Our hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones and we pray for those still fighting for their lives,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. said in a statement.
With more thunderstorms expected in the US capital on Friday night, Maggiolo advises people to stay indoors.
“If you see lightning or hear thunder, you should take shelter inside a building or vehicle. Do not try to take shelter under a tree,” he said.