Multiple people were injured after lightning struck just outside the White House on Thursday evening.
Four people were being treated and transported to area hospitals after the bolt hit somewhere in Lafayette Park, D.C. Fire and EMS reported on Twitter. The victims have been identified as two adult males and two adult females, all of whom had critical injuries, officials said.
The four who were struck were found in the middle of the park just before 7 p.m. in the center of the park, roughly 100 feet from the statue of Andrew Jackson, fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo told the Washington Post. He later said in a video that D.C. Fire and EMS responded to a report of a lighting strike with multiple “patients” at 6:52 p.m.
Update Lafayette Park lightning strike. #DCsBravest transported 2 adult males & 2 adult females to area hospitals. All had critical life threatening injuries.
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) August 4, 2022
A large presence of police and emergency vehicles was seen on Pennsylvania Avenue on the north side of the White House. The street separates the White House grounds and Lafayette Park.
A CBS News crew appears to have caught the lightning strike on camera where they were staged outside the White House, as shown in video shared to Twitter.
“That’s too close — we’re shutting down,” advised photographer Ron Windham, after chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes said she and their producer “jumped in fright.”
Our camera was rolling on the White House North Lawn tonight when lightning struck Lafayette Park nearby, injuring four. The thunder was so loud, @gabrielle_ake and I jumped up in fright. “That’s too close — we’re shutting down” advised photographer Ron Windham. pic.twitter.com/oTtU9VeQBw
— Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) August 5, 2022
Another video from Fox 5 appeared to capture the actual lightning strike from afar.
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A severe thunderstorm warning had covered the district and the area around the Capital Beltway for a time Thursday evening.
The Washington Post’s Capitol Weather Gang reported “60 mph wind gusts and quarter-size hail possible as these storms move through, and of course heavy rain and dangerous lightning.”
6:35p: Here’s a close up of the Severe T’storm Warning covering DC and most spots inside and around the Beltway until 7:15. 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-size hail possible as these storms move through, and of course heavy rain and dangerous lightning. pic.twitter.com/B32wD9MwZR
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) August 4, 2022
Chris Vagasky, an analyst for Vaisala, which operates a national lightning network, told the Washington Post there was a “six-stroke flash near the White House that hit the same point on the ground” at 6:49 p.m. He said this means six individual surges of electricity hit the same point on the ground within half a second, per the report.
Maggiolo posted a short update video on Twitter around 9 p.m. from within a vehicle, noting he was in there because of continued stormy weather.
He gave thanks to officers from both the Secret Service Uniformed Division as well as the U.S. Park Police who witnessed the lightning strike and then “immediately [responded] to the scene and [rendered] aid to the four injured individuals.”