Two people critically injured by lightning outside the White House have died, police confirmed to CBS News on Friday. Two others remained in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Janesville, Wisconsin, died from their injuries after the lightning struck Lafayette Park, which is just outside the White House complex, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
The other two people, a man and a woman, were in critical condition, the police department said. Their identities were not immediately released.
Lightning was reported at 6:52 p.m. The victims were near a statue of Andrew Jackson, Maggiolo said, adding that it “appeared to be near a tree.”
Uniformed Secret Service agents and U.S. park rangers who were in the area and witnessed the strike administered first aid to the victims, Maggiolo said.
“Their agents, their officers, saw this lightning strike and immediately began rendering assistance,” Maggiolo said.
It is unclear exactly what the victims were doing at the time.
“All we know for sure is that there was lightning in their immediate vicinity and all four were injured,” he said.
A CBS News camera on the North Lawn of the White House at the time of the lightning strike captured the loud rumble of thunder.
“The thunder was so loud, @gabrielle_ake and I jumped in fear,” CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Nancy Cordes tweeted. “It’s too close – we’re closing,” advised photographer Ron Windham.”