Lightning strike kills 18 children in Uganda

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KAMPALA—A lightning strike at a primary school in western Uganda killed 18 students and injured 50, Ugandan police said on Wednesday.

Lightning on Tuesday hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225 kilometers (135 miles) northwest of Kampala, killing 15 girls and three boys, police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba told AFP.

“The injured were taken to hospital nearby and 15 of those who were seriously injured were transferred to Mulago hospital,” in Kampala, Nabakooba said.

Local media reported that a further 21 pupils were burned Tuesday after lightning struck at a second school in Zombo district, around 380 km north of Kampala. Police could not confirm the incident.

Nabakooba could not provide an exact figure for the total number killed by lightning in recent weeks, but local newspaper The Daily Monitor reported Wednesday a total of 28 killed and scores injured in the past week, including Tuesday’s incidents.

Uganda is experiencing unseasonably heavy rainstorms and concern about the number of recent lightning strikes has prompted lawmakers to demand an official explanation from government.

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