Four seriously injured after lightning strike near White House


Two men and two women were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries Thursday night after an apparent lightning strike in Lafayette Square, just north of the White House, according to DC firefighters.

The four adults were found just before 7 p.m. in the center of the park, about 30 yards from the statue of Andrew Jackson, fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said.

All four people were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

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The specific cause of their injuries is still under investigation, authorities said.

The lightning was triggered by a severe thunderstorm that swept through the district just before 7 p.m. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of the Beltway area between 6.30pm and 7.15pm, warning of the threat of damaging gusty winds. up to 60 mph and quarter sized hail.

Chris Vagasky, an analyst with Vaisala, which operates a nationwide lightning network, said in a post that there was a “6-shot lightning bolt near the White House that hit the same spot on the ground” at 6:49 p.m. He explained that this means six of the individual electrical surges hit the same point on the ground in half a second.

Numerous thunderstorms, containing frequent lightning, erupted in the region Thursday evening after temperatures soared into the mid-90s earlier in the day, prompting a heat advisory. Heat indices, a measure of how hot it feels taking humidity into account, reached 100 to 110 degrees.

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The heat-fueled storms unleashed a 58mph gust of wind at Reagan National Airport and toppled trees around Winchester, Columbia and Baltimore. The torrents also sparked multiple reports of flooded roads around Baltimore.

Lightning kills 23 people in the United States in an average year and has claimed nine lives so far in 2022.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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