Three people died after being struck by lightning that struck in a park in front of the White House in Washington (USA) on Thursday night (4)
James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, died from injuries after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park, a spokeswoman for the DC Metropolitan Police confirmed.
On Friday afternoon, police said a 29-year-old man died of his injuries. His name is being withheld until family notice. The condition of the other injured person was not disclosed.
The victims were sheltering from the storm under a tree, a police source said. The storm hit the region in the early evening.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life at Lafayette Park,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Friday. “Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives.”
The three people killed were the 10th, 11th and 12th lightning victims so far this year in the United States, according to John Jensenius, an expert with the National Lightning Safety Council.
The US averages 16 lightning deaths in the first seven months of the year based on data from the last decade, Jensenius said. He also noted that this week’s deaths were the first in Washington since May 17, 1991, when one person died and 10 others were injured when lightning struck a tree at a lacrosse game.
“This incident underscores the need for people to get to a safe place whenever a storm is in the area. Even a distant rumble of thunder should serve as a warning to immediately enter a building,” wrote Jensenius.
“The incident also underscores the danger of taking shelter under a tree, as footage from the scene shows victims near a tall tree. The ray tends to hit the tallest object in the immediate area.”
Source: CNN Brasil