Massive storm kills nine people, including five in area

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Local,DC,Aubrey Whelan

Nine people -- five in the D.C. region -- died in a massive thunderstorm that shook the area Friday night, according to public safety officials and news reports.

In the District, police found 67-year-old Mohammad Ghafoorian unconscious on the ground near a fallen tree and a downed power line on the 3000 block of Woodland Drive NW. Pepco officials said the man's car had caught fire after being hit by a downed power line. Ghafoorian later died of his injuries. His wife suffered burns in the incident, apparently from the power line, police said.

Six people died in Virginia, emergency management personnel there said -- two in Fairfax County, two in Ablemarle County and two in Bedford County.

In Fairfax, a young man died when a tree fell on the car he was driving, police said. Khiet Nguyen, 27, of Burke, was killed while driving west on Old Keene Mill Road at about 11 p.m.; a tree fell directly on his car and he died at the scene of the crash, police said.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on Friday, a tree fell on the house of a 90-year-old woman as she was lying in bed in her home in Fairfax's Springfield area. Police confirmed that she had died, but had not released her name by press time Saturday. Another resident of the house, located on the 8100 block of Carr Street, called 911, but couldn't reach the woman. Police brought in a construction crane and tree removal equipment to recover the woman, but tweeted an hour after the incident that recovery had been "hampered" because the house was too unstable.

In Maryland, police said a 71-year-old Silver Spring woman was killed when a large maple tree fell through her roof and onto her bed during the night. She was discovered this morning when fire crews responded to calls of a tree down on the 10000 block of Grant Avenue, police said. Police had not released her name by press time Saturday, adding that they were notifying the woman's family.

WTOP reported that another man died in Anne Arundel county at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Kevin Alan O'Brien, 25, of Edgewater, was killed when a tree hit his car in the 400 block of Harwood Road, WJLA reported. Anne Arundel police did not return a call for comment by press time.

awhelan@washingtonexaminer.com

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