It was not immediately clear why the victim was in the park at the time of the strike, said Magiolo.Fire officials said park police would investigate the incident.
“Trees are not safe places,” said Maggiolo. “Anyone who takes refuge under a tree is a very dangerous place.”
All four were taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.
Authorities say the exact cause of the injury is under investigation.
An eyewitness to the lightning strike described it as “massive.” It shook the whole area. It literally sounded like a bomb exploding.”
Lightning was unleashed by a severe thunderstorm that hit the district just before 7pm. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of the Beltway region from 6:30pm to 7:15pm, warning of the threat of damage from gusty winds. Quarter-sized hailstones up to 60 mph.
Vaisala analyst Chris Vagasky said: national lightning network, At 6:49 p.m., there was a “six-stroke flash that hit the same point on the ground near the White House,” the message said.
A number of storms, including frequent thunder, flared up in the area on Thursday night, with temperatures rising to the mid-90s to mid-90s earlier in the day and a heat advisory issued. The heat index, which includes humidity, is 100 to 110 degrees.
The heat-fueled storm caused 58mph gusts at Reagan National Airport and knocked down trees around Winchester, Columbia and Baltimore. The torrent also spurred multiple reports of flooded roads around Baltimore.
Widespread power outages have been reported, with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) reporting on Twitter that more than 50,000 people were without power as of late Thursday.
Lightning strikes kill an average of 23 people a year in the United States, resulting in 9 dead As of 2022.