4 Seriously Injured After Apparent Lightning Near White House – NBC4 Washington

Four people have fatal injuries after they were apparently struck by lightning near the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday night, fire officials said.

US Secret Service and US Park Police agents rushed to help the two women and two men when they saw the lightning, said Vito Maggiolo, public information officer for DC Fire and EMS.

The victims were in Lafayette Square across from the White House, and they were near the central statue of former President Andrew Jackson, as well as a tree, Maggiolo said.

Doctors took the women and men to area hospitals. Maggiolo said he couldn’t elaborate on their exact injuries.

“All we know for sure is that there was a lightning strike in their vicinity, in their immediate vicinity, and all four were injured,” Maggiolo said.

“I was just in shock,” witness David Root said. ” I could not believe it. Was surreal. I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life.”

He described hearing “a horrible boom”.
He said he went to Lafayette Square every night with a group to show his support for the Ukrainian people. When the rain started to fall, he took shelter under a tree until he saw lightning strike across the park.

Without thinking, he jumped into action to save a man’s life.

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

“We were there, and suddenly there was this horrible noise,” said witness Anna Mackiewicz, who is from Poland. “We started screaming and my husband said, ‘Let’s run away.’ I saw out of the corner of my eye. I saw, you know, the light.

“I just hope and pray that these people survive,” Root said. “That’s the most important thought in my mind right now.”

Thunderstorms rolled through DC and surrounding areas around 6:30 p.m. Severe weather inundated parts of the region after a sweltering day of temperatures in the mid-90s and heat indices above 100.

News4’s Jackie Bensen is at the scene. Stay with News4 for updates to this developing story.

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