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Massive Lightning Strike Hits Just Outside White House, Killing at Least 3 People

Off The Record

Massive Lightning Strike Hits Just Outside White House, Killing at Least 3 People

Three of the four people who were hit by lightning outside of the White House on Thursday have died.

The causalities of this fatal lightning strike near the white house were James Muller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, who were tourists from Janesville, Wisconsin.

Four people in total have been transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries as a result of a horrifying lightning strike just outside the White House.

Both James Mueller, and Donna Mueller, both died of their injuries overnight, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre of the White House said 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 two others, a man and a woman, were hospitalized. One of them died recently due to severe injuries.

“It shook the whole area,” an unknown witness told the Washington Post. “Literally like a bomb went off, that’s how it sounded.”

First aid was given to the victims by Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers who were at the scene when it happened.

“The thunder was so loud, @gabrielle_ake and I jumped up in fright,” CBS News chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes tweeted. “That’s too close – we’re shutting down’ advised photographer Ron Windham.” 

David Root, a witness at the scene told WRC-TV “a horrific boom.”

“I was just in a state of shock. I just couldn’t believe it. Was surreal. I have never seen anything like this in my entire life,” said Root.

“We saw several people beside a tree, and they weren’t moving, and so I ran over there to try to help,” he added. “Several people ran over there, and I gave him chest compressions with another person. We alternated.”

“We stood there, and suddenly there was this horrible sound,” another witness Anna Mackiewicz said. “We started to scream, and my husband said, ‘Just let’s run away.’ I saw in the corner of my eye. I saw, you know, the light.”

According to Chris Vagasky, an analyst for Vaisala, which operates a nationwide lightning network, said that at 6:49PM there was a “six stroke flash near the White House that hit the same location on the ground.”

That means six surges of electricity hit the exact same within less than 0.5 seconds.

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