Four people are fighting for their lives after being struck by lightning outside the White House during a violent storm.
Two men and two women were seriously injured after being shot in Lafayette Park, less than 150 meters from the President Joe Bidenofficial residence in Washington DC.
US intelligence members have been deployed to provide emergency aid to the park due to its proximity to the White House.
The lightning struck near a tree a few meters from the fence surrounding the presidential residence and offices.
The District of Columbia Department of Emergency and Fire Medical Services was called to the scene at around 6:52 p.m. local time Thursday night.
Spokesman Vito Maggiolo released a statement inside his car due to “significant storm conditions”.
“All four victims suffered from serious and life-threatening injuries,” he said.
“We were able to quickly treat and transport all four patients and they were all taken to local hospitals.”
Mr. Maggiolo thanked the US Secret Service and the US Park Police for immediately responding and helping the four people.
They have not yet been named and it is not clear if they knew each other.
Lafayette Park is a seven-acre public space north of the White House that is especially popular with visitors in the summer months.
Following the accident, a flash flood warning was issued for the District of Columbia.
The violent storm hit Washington as temperatures rose above 32.2 ° C (90 ° F), but high humidity levels meant the heat was compared to 37.8 ° C (100 ° F).