Lightning strikes near White House, killing 2 people : NPR

Lightning strikes near White House, killing 2 people : NPR

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.

Andrew Harnik/AP


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Andrew Harnik/AP


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.

Andrew Harnik/AP

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.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park. Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

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.

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