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A lightning strike near the White House kills 3 people and injures another person

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
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.

Updated August 6, 2022 at 6:41 AM ET

Three people were killed and another was 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.

A third victim, a 29-year-old adult male, was pronounced dead Friday. The fourth person, a woman, was in critical condition, the police department said. Their identities were not immediately released.

"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.

Maggiolo advised people to stay indoors during thunderstorms. "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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.