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Four people were reportedly struck by lightning Thursday night near Lafayette Square, north of the White House in Washington, D.C., putting their lives at risk.

Fire officials said the two men and two women were found in the center of the park just before 7 p.m. Fire Department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said they were found in a wooded area about 100 feet southeast of the Andrew Jackson statue.

Mr Maggiola said they were still investigating why the four were in the park at the time.

“Trees are not a safe place,” Mr Maggiolo said. “Anyone looking for shelter under a tree, that’s a very dangerous place.”

Their current health status is unknown.

Officials from the Secret Service Uniforms and Park Police rushed to the scene to help the four, Mr. Maggiolo said.

A severe thunderstorm struck Washington, D.C., around 7 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of the Beltway between 6.30pm and 7.15pm.

On average, lightning kills 23 people a year in the United States, and this year alone, lightning has killed 9 people.

According to statistics, the chance of being struck by lightning in a given year is less than “one in a million” New York TimesMeanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 90 percent of people struck by lightning survive.

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