Man, 75, and man, 76, visiting DC from Wisconsin, died after being struck by lightning while sightseeing near White House: Two others remain in hospital
- Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were among four injured in a lightning strike near the White House on Thursday
- The couple were visiting from Wisconsin when they were injured by a tree in a DC park before 7 p.m
- The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Washington DC between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
Two elderly people who were hospitalized on Thursday after being seriously injured by a lightning strike while sight-seeing in Lafayette Square near the White House have died.
Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were visiting DC from Janesville, Wisconsin when lightning struck them along with two others near a tree.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life following the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” White House press secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre said in a statement. “Our hearts are with the families who have lost loved ones, and we pray for those who are still fighting for their lives.”
The other two have not been identified.
Fox News cameras may have captured the lightning strike that injured the four victims. A posted video shows a lightning strike around the same time of the incident.
A CBS News reporter was at the White House North Lawn on Thursday when lightning struck nearby. The reporter jumps in fear as someone else says, “That’s too close, we’re closing.”
Officers from the US Secret Service and the US Park Police immediately went to help the victims, according to VIto Maggiolo, a spokesman for DC Fire and EMS.
Maggiolo said it was likely that the four people caught in the incident were trying to take shelter under the nearby tree when the storm passed just before 7pm.
The fire service and EMS spokesperson noted that trees are not the ideal shelter during thunderstorms.
“Trees are not safe places,” Maggiolo said. “Anyone seeking shelter under a tree is a very dangerous place to be.”
Officers from the US Secret Service and US Park Police, who are regularly present in the square, immediately came to the aid of the victims
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Washington DC between 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM
Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park located immediately north of the White House, is often crowded with visitors, especially in the summer months.
A heavy thunderstorm swept through the capital late in the day.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area between 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM, warning of gusts of wind up to 60 mph.
Temperatures in Washington exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, though, with the high humidity, the heat felt like over 100F, forecasters said.
This is a story in development.