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Four people critically injured by lightning strike near White House Two dead after lightning strike near White House
(about 7 hours later)
Emergency services were called to the scene Emergency services were called to the scene near the White House on Thursday
Four people have been critically injured after being struck by lightning near the White House. An elderly couple from Wisconsin have died after they were struck by lightning near the White House in Washington DC, police say.
The two men and two women were in Lafayette Park in Washington DC during a violent storm when they were struck down, fire officials said. James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, died from their injuries.
Because of the park's closeness to the seat of the US presidency, members of the secret service were among the first people to assist the victims. Two others were struck and injured and have been taken to hospital in the city.
The identities of those injured have not yet been confirmed. The victims were in Lafayette Park during a violent storm on Thursday when they were struck down, fire officials said.
The lightning struck the four people near a tree by the fence that surrounds the White House complex on Thursday evening. The park's closeness to the seat of the US presidency meant members of the US Secret Service were among the first people to assist the victims.
"All four were suffering from critical, life-threatening injuries," said DC Fire and EMS in a statement. "We were able to quickly treat and transport all four patients and they were all taken to area hospitals." The White House offered condolences to the families of the couple who died. "We are praying for those still fighting for their lives," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Officials have yet to establish whether they knew each other and what they were doing before the lightning strike. The lightning struck the four people near a tree by the fence that surrounds the White House complex.
In the wake of the incident, part of the park remained closed, with emergency services at the scene. In the wake of the incident, part of the park remained closed with emergency services at the scene.
The National Weather Service had issued a thunderstorm warning for the area on Thursday evening. The National Weather Service had issued a thunderstorm warning for the area on Thursday.
Lafayette Square is a seven-acre public park directly north of the White House. It is often crowded with visitors, especially during the summer.Lafayette Square is a seven-acre public park directly north of the White House. It is often crowded with visitors, especially during the summer.