Police confirmed to CBS News Friday that two people who were critically injured in a lightning strike outside the White House have died. Two others remain in hospital with serious injuries.
The Metropolitan Police Department said James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Gainesville, Wisconsin, died of their injuries after a lightning strike in Lafayette Park, just outside the White House complex.
Police said the other two people, a man and a woman, are in critical condition. Their identities were not immediately revealed.
Maggiolo stated that the thunderbolt was reported at 6:52 pm. The victims were near a statue of Andrew Jackson, adding that it “looks like they were near a tree”.
Maggiolo said that the uniformed Secret Service agents and US Park Police officers who were in the area and witnessed the strike provided first aid to the victims.
“Their agents and officers witnessed this lightning strike and immediately began to provide assistance,” Maguolo said.
It is unclear exactly what the victims were doing at the time.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life following the lightning in Lafayette Park,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones, and we pray for those who are still fighting for their lives.”
The CBS News camera, which was recording on the North Lawn of the White House around the time of the lightning strike, captured the powerful rumble of thunder.
“The thunder was so loud, Gabrielle_ake and I jumped in fright,” Nancy Cordes, White House correspondent for CBS News, wrote on Twitter. That’s very close – we’ll be shutting down ‘Recommended Photographer Ron Windham.