Lightning strike near White House leaves two dead

A lightning strike near the White House has left three dead and one critically injured, ABC News reports

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, the incident took place on Thursday night, around 7 p.m., just outside of the White House complex in Lafayette Square.

The lightning strike itself was witnessed by members of the U.S. Park Police as well as by members of the Secretary Service. They immediately rushed over to help those injured by administering first aid.

In the meantime, emergency medical personnel were called to the scene. The four victims were subsequently transported to a nearby hospital with “critical, life-threatening injuries.”

Three succumb to their injuries

The four victims included two adult men and two adult women. Thus far, the identities of only two of these individuals have been released: 76-year-old James Mueller and 75-year-old Donna Mueller. The couple, who had been married for over five decades, was visiting Washington, D.C., to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary.

It was reported on Friday morning that the Muellers were the first two individuals to die from the injuries that they received from the lightning strike. By Friday evening, a third victim was reported to have succumbed to his injuries, a 29-year-old male, who has otherwise been unidentified.

The final victim, who is only being identified as an adult female, is still in the hospital in critical condition. It is not clear whether she will pull through.

Specifics about the actual injuries that these individuals received from the lightning strike have not been provided.

The White House’s statement

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has released a statement on the lightning strike, calling it a “tragic loss of life.”

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” Jean-Pierre said. “Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.”

The Muellers leave behind a large family that includes five children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. They are said by their niece to have recently had a large family gathering.

The Muellers’ niece also said that they were “the kind of people who would give the shirt off their back to do anything for you.”

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