Two Wisconsin residents have died after they were hit by a lightning near the White House on Thursday night, police confirmed to ABC News Friday.
According to police, the deceased are identified as 76-year-old James Mueller and 75-year-old Donna Meuller, both from Janesville, Wisconsin. Both died after being injured in the strike in Lafayette Park in front of the White House.
The two men and two women who were struck by a lightning on Thursday night were near a tree in Lafayette Park near fencing surrounding the White House complex on Thursday evening.
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All four were taken to local hospitals. Earlier, it was not clear whether any knew each other.
Before taking them to the local hospital, Secret Service members and park police gave aide to the victims at the scene.
In a video statement posted to Twitter, DC Fire and EMS spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said: “All four were suffering from critical, life-threatening injuries” when help arrived.
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“We were able to quickly treat and transport all four patients and they were all taken to area hospitals,” the spokesperson said.
Maggiolo recorded the statement inside a vehicle as heavy rain could be seen outside and he cited the “significant storm conditions currently taking place in the area.”
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On Thursday, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the DC area between 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. ET and advised about a threat from winds of up to 60 miles per hour and hail the size of quarters.
DC Fire and EMS received the report about the lightning strike in Lafayette Park at 6:52 p.m.
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Addressing a press conference on Thursday night, Maggiolo said that the strike had occurred in a grove of trees in the park about 100 feet from a statue of former President Andrew Jackson.
“Trees are not safe places,” Maggiolo said. “Anybody that goes to seek shelter under a tree, that’s a very dangerous place to be.”