Lightning Strike In Uganda Kills 18 Children
7:06pm 29th June 2011
(Updated 8:05pm 30th June 2011)
Eighteen children and their teacher have been killed by a lightning strike at their school in Uganda.
Police say a single bolt struck the classroom where they were sheltering during a heavy storm at Kiryandongo, about 130 miles from the capital Kampala.
Another 38 children were injured in the incident and 15 of them are still in hospital where they are being treated for serious burns.
"They were ready to leave the school, but all of a sudden there was a heavy downpour so they sheltered in a classroom, and then it struck," a police spokesman said.
It is the latest in a series of fatal lightning strikes in Uganda in recent weeks during unseasonal heavy rains.
The local New Vision newspaper said at least 40 people had been killed, many of them children.
In another incident last week, three siblings aged four, six and eight were killed by lightning as they sheltered under a tree on their way home from school.
Politicians in the East African country have demanded government action to address what they have called "a crisis".
Local meteorologists say more lightning conductors are needed on buildings in storm-prone areas to reduce the threat.
Even before this latest deadly strike, Uganda had one of the highest death tolls from lightning in the world.
Kampala has more days of lightning per year than any other city according to the World Meteorological Organisation.