Four people were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Thursday evening after being struck by lightning near Lafayette Square, north of the White House in Washington, DC.
Fire officials said the two men and two women were found shortly before 7 p.m. in the middle of the park. Fire Department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said they were found in a grove of trees about 100 feet southeast of the Andrew Jackson statue.
Mr Maggiola said they were still investigating why the four people were in the park at the time.
“Trees are not safe places,” Maguolo said. “Anyone who goes looking for shelter under a tree, this is a very dangerous place.”
Their current health status is not clear.
Maggiolo said officials from the regular division of the Secret Service and Park Police were at the scene immediately to assist the four people.
A severe thunderstorm hit the metropolitan area around 7 p.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of the Beltway area between 6.30pm and 7.15pm.
On average, lightning kills 23 people in the United States in one year, and in this year alone, lightning has caused nine deaths.
The odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are less than “one in a million,” according to New York times. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, nearly 90 percent of all people who are struck by lightning survive.