Two people died and two others were seriously injured after being struck by lightning in the immediate vicinity of the White House on Thursday evening in Washington, local police confirmed to AFP on Friday.< /strong>
“Two people were declared dead after being struck by lightning in Lafayette Square”, a few meters from the gates of the White House, police said.
These are a couple from the Rural Wisconsin State James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, authorities said.
The other two victims remain in “critical condition,” police say.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre offered her condolences to the families of those who died in a statement on Friday and expressed “his prayers for those who are still fighting for their lives”.
Lightning struck Thursday, a few minutes before 7 p.m., in the public park bordering the residence of the American president.
< p>Photos released by firefighters showed scores of rescue vehicles in the tree-studded square as a thunderstorm continued to roll through Washington.
The likelihood of being hit by the lightning is 1 to 1 million, according to data from US health authorities.
“As soon as there is lightning, you must seek refuge in a safe place. Trees, of course, are not safe places,” Washington Fire Department spokesman Vito Maggiolo told local media.