4 critically injured in lightning strike near White House, officials say

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Four people were critically injured when lightning struck near the White House on Thursday evening during a storm, according to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. 

The lightning struck just before 7 p.m. in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House. Two men and two women were transported to hospitals, all with “critical life threatening injuries,” D.C. Fire and EMS said in a tweet.

Spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said the lightning strike was witnessed by members of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police, who responded to the scene. 

Parts of the D.C. metro area were under a severe thunderstorm warning Thursday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

USA TODAY FACT CHECK: Photo shows sand art, not lightning strike formation