An incident involving lightning in Lafayette Square in front of the White House on Thursday left four persons in serious condition, according to a D.C. fire department spokesman, Reuters reports.
According to Vito Maggiolo, a spokesman for D.C. Fire and EMS, the injured, two adult men and two adult females, were taken to local hospitals with life-threatening wounds.
It’s common to see crowds of people visiting Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park located to the north of the White House, particularly during the summer. Four persons were struck by lightning when it passed by a tree a few yards from the fence enclosing the White House and its offices.
Despite Thursday’s heavy humidity and above-average temperatures in Washington, which hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, forecasters say, it felt like over 100F. The capital was hit late in the day by a powerful thunderstorm.
According to Maggiolo, the victims received prompt treatment from U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers who are frequently present in the square.