Lightning kills 18 school children
A total of 18 children died instantly and 36 others were injured when lightning struck Runyanya Primary School in Kiryandongo district during a downpour last evening.
This comes just three days after lightning struck Bweyale Public PS in the same district, injuring five students.
In Zombo district, lightining yesterday also struck and injured over 37 children of Paidha Model Primary School in Paidha Town Council and their two teachers.
And on Monday, there was a similar incident in Hoima where an Anglican priest was admitted to Tropical Medical Centre in Hoima Municipality with serious injuries.
The Kiryandongo Police commander, Patrick Byaruhanga, said the pupils, mainly from Primary Three and Four, died after lightning stuck their school at around 4:30pm.
He added that the pupils were in their classrooms waiting for the downpour to subside before going home.
Byaruhanga said the Police and Kiryandongo Hospital staff rushed to the scene and transferred the bodies and the injured to the hospital.
He said the deceased and the injured suffered severe burns.
Speaking to New Vision at the hospital, the district education officer, Edward Kirya, expressed fear that the death toll could go up.
He said the situation at the hospital was chaotic, with the Police struggling to keep away the parents who were trying to force themselves into the hospital.
The Rev. James Mbabazi, 50, an associate vicar at All Saints Church in Hoima municipality and a resident of Kalyabuhire village, said yesterday from his hospital bed that he was struck by lightning on Monday night as he was locking the main door of his house.
Mbabazi said when lightning struck him, he fell down and his left hand and foot got paralysed. His wife, Elizabeth, later rushed him to hospital.
Deo Ochwo, a medical officer at Tropical Medical Centre, said the priest sustained serious burns on his legs and arm.
In Zombo, the tragedy in which 37 children and their two teachers were hit happened when the Primary Five and Six pupils were in their classrooms.
The district education officer, John Baptist Ojobi, said 20 pupils were admitted at Paidha Health Centre III, eight pupils, including the two teachers, are at Nyapea Hospital and the seven are admitted at Goli Health Centre.
The teachers were identified as Charles Canbithum and Jane Wanican.
Several parts of the country have been hit by lightning in the past few weeks. With yesterday’s tragedy, the death toll has risen to over 40 and many more injured.
Compiled by Pascal Kwesiga, Martin Kaahwa, Robert Atuhairwe, and Benedict Okethwengu, The New Vision
Do you have a story or an article to publish? Please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.