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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Elderly woman and man visiting DC from Wisconsin have died after being hit by lightning

Woman, 75, and Man, 76, visiting DC from Wisconsin have died after being hit by lightning standing under a tree while sightseeing near the White House: Two others remain in hospital

  •  Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were among the four injured by a lightening strike near the White House on Thursday
  • The pair were visiting from Wisconsin when they were injured before 7 p.m. near a tree at a DC park 
  • The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Thursday for Washington D.C. between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m 

Two elderly people hospitalized on Thursday after being critically injured by a lightening strike while sight seeing at Lafayette Square near the White House, have died. 

Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were visiting DC from Janesville, Wisconsin when lightening struck them near a tree along with two others.

‘We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jeane-Pierre wrote in a statement. ‘Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.’

The other two male and female victims haven’t been identified. 

Fox News cameras may have captured the lightening strike that injured the four victims. A video posted shows a lightening strike around the same time of the incident. 

A CBS News reporter was on the White House North Lawn on Thursday when a lightening struck nearby. The reporter is seen jumping in fear while another person is heard saying, ‘That’s too close, we’re shutting down.’ 

Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were sightseeing at Lafayette Square near the White House when they were struck by lightening along with two others. The map above shows where lightning hit on Thursday

Officers of the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police went to assist the victims immediately, according to VIto Maggiolo, a D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson. 

Maggiolo said it was likely that the four people caught in the incident tried to seek shelter under the nearby tree when the storm passed along just before 7 p.m.

The Fire and EMS spokesperson noted that trees are not the ideal shelter during thunderstorms.

‘Trees are not safe places,’ Maggiolo said. ‘Anybody that goes to seek shelter under a tree, that’s a very dangerous place to be.’

Lafayette Square (pictured) is near the White House. The four victims were immediately assisted

Lafayette Square (pictured) is near the White House. The four victims were immediately assisted

Officers of the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police, which have a regular presence in the square, rushed to the assistance of the victims immediately

Officers of the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police, which have a regular presence in the square, went to the assistance of the victims immediately

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Washington D.C. between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Washington D.C. between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m

Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park that lies directly north of the White House, is often crowded with visitors, especially in the summer months.

A violent thunderstorm swept through the capital late in the day.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m., cautioning of wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Temperatures in Washington exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, although, with the high humidity, the heat felt like more than 100F, forecasters said.

This is a developing story.

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