Three people died after being struck by lightning during a violent storm outside the White House.

James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, both of Janesville, Wisconsin, were shot in Lafayette Park, less than 500 feet (150 m) from President Joe Biden‘s official residence in Washington, DC.

A 29-year-old man from the West Coast also died, but police have not called him yet.

Another person who was hit is in critical condition in the hospital.

Secret Service 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.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “Our hearts are with the families who have lost loved ones and we pray for those who are still fighting for their lives.”

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 had to make a statement inside his car due to “significant storm conditions”.

Mr. Maggiolo thanked the United States Secret Service and Park Police for immediately responding and helping the four people.

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).

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