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2 dead, 2 in critical condition after lightning strike near White House – ABC News

Two Wisconsin residents have died following a lightning strike near the White House on Thursday night, police confirmed to ABC News Friday.

Police said 76-year-old James Mueller and 75-year-old Donna Mueller, both from Janesville, Wisconsin, died after being injured in the strike in Lafayette Park in front of the White House.

Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee confirmed Friday that the Muellers were married and Madison.com reported they were in Washington to celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary.

Thursday night, D.C. Fire and EMS said it had responded and was treating four patients found in “the vicinity of a tree.”

It said the two men and two women were transported to area hospitals with “life-threatening injuries.”

Officials said it’s still unclear what the adults were doing prior to the lightning strike and why they were in the park.

PHOTO: In this photo posted to the DC Fire and EMS Twitter account, first responders work at the scene of a lightning strike in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 2022.

In this photo posted to the DC Fire and EMS Twitter account, first responders work at the scene of a lightning strike in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 2022.

DC Fire and EMS/Twitter

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed sadness Friday morning following word the two Wisconsin residents had died.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park. Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones, and we are praying for those still fighting for their lives,” she said in a brief statement.

Uniformed U.S. Park Police officers and members of the Secret Service were also on the scene and immediately rendered aid to the victims, an EMS official said during a news conference.

PHOTO: In this photo posted to the DC Fire and EMS Twitter account, first responders work at the scene of a lightning strike in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 2022.

In this photo posted to the DC Fire and EMS Twitter account, first responders work at the scene of a lightning strike in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4, 2022.

DC Fire and EMS/Twitter

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area Thursday evening.

ABC News’ Beatrice Peterson, Molly Nagle and Caleigh Bartash contributed to this report.

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