Two of four people who On Thursday near the White House, apparently struck by lightning, died, Washington police said.
James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, were a couple from Janesville, Wisconsin, police said.
Four people we left in critical state after outbreak of light and the boom sounded in Lafayette Park in Northwestern D.C. as serious thunderstorms hit region, fire officials said.
D.C. police expected to release more information about conditions of two other victims later on Friday.
Four people sustained life-threatening injuries after being apparently struck by lightning near the White House in Washington DC Thursday night fire officials said.
US Secret Service and US Park Police officers rushed to help The Mullers and the other man and woman when they saw the lightning strike, DC Fire and EMS public information officer Vito Maggiolo said earlier.
The victims were in Place Lafayette opposite the White House, near the central statue. of former President Andrew Jackson, as well as the tree, Maggiolo said.
Medics took in women as well as men to area hospitals. Maggiolo said he couldn’t elaborate on their exact injuries.
“All of us know for sure it was a lightning strike in their surroundings, in their immediate vicinity, and all four were injured,” Maggiolo said.
BUT total of 444 people died in lightning strikes between 2006 and 2021, according to the Centers for Disease control and prevention. Most likely to die from lightning strikes in summer and most often people who participate in outside rest or work.
“I was just in State of shock,” said witness David Ruth. “I just couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. i never saw anything like this is in All my life.”
He described hearing “a terrifying roar”.
He said he went to Place Lafayette every evening. with a group to show support for in people of Ukraine. When it started to rain down took hid under a tree until he saw lightning strike the park.
Without thinking twice, he began to act to save a person’s life.
“We have seen several people next to a tree and they weren’t moving so I ran over there to try helpRuth said. “Several people ran over there and I gave him chest compressions with another man. We alternated.”
“We were standing there, and suddenly this terrible sound”, – said the witness Anna Matskevich. who comes from Poland. “We started screaming and my husband said, “Just let’s run away.’ I have seen in in corner of my eye. I saw you know, light”.
“I just I hope and pray that these people survive,” Ruth said. “This is the most important thought in my mind right now.”
Thunderstorms passed through the District of Columbia and surrounding areas around 18:30. strong weather wet parts of in region after a hot day of temperature in mid 90s and heat indices over 100.
National Weather Service says anyone should go inside if they hear thunder.
“Avoid open areas. Don’t be the tallest object in in area”NWS safety brochure says. “Stay away from isolated tall trees, towers or power poles. Lightning tends to strike higher objects. in en area.”
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