Lightning Kills 22 Students, Teacher in Uganda

School was built on high ground

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Erin Copeland
    A deadly strike left 23 dead in Uganda.

    Twenty-two students and a teacher died when lightning struck their school in Uganda, officials said.

    Another 51 students, aged 7 to 16 were injured in the freak strike 160 miles northwest of Kampala, said local police spokeswoman Zura Ganyana.

    Lightning strikes in recent weeks have killed at least 38 people around the country in recent weeks, as  unseasonably heavy storms have ravaged the area. Experts said the school was prone because it is on high ground and does not have a lighting conductor to ground strikes.

    Another lightning strike injured 37 students at a school 200 miles away, officials said.

    One member of parliament called the situation a crisis.

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    "I don't know which minister is in charge of the lightning but let the government come up with a statement to inform the country on what is going on and how we can manage it," Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told Reuters.

    Uganda's Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru told the BBC the deaths could be blamed on buildings not having lightning rods.

    "There are very many schools and brand new health centres which are lacking lightning arrestors," Mr Ecweru said.