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Ten Children Tragically Killed By Lightning Strike In Uganda

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Ten Children Tragically Killed By Lightning Strike In Uganda

Ten children were tragically killed after being hit by lightning in Uganda.

Fourteen of the kids - who were aged nine to 16 - had been playing football near Arua City on Thursday (August 27) when a thunderstorm hit.

Although they took shelter in a nearby 'grass-thatched structure', nine of the children were killed instantly.

Another member of the group died on the way to the hospital, and a further four were injured.

People reports that Ugandan authorities identified those injured as 11-year-old Ayikobua Martin from Nyaute village, 14-year-old Munguci Boniface from Nyaute village, 14-year-old Adriko Yofasi from Gbuluku village and 9-year-old Andama Festo from Gbuluku village.

Three of the kids are currently receiving treatment in hospital for their wounds, according to authorities.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Josephine Angucia, police spokeswoman in Uganda's West Nile region, said the children had been playing football at a field near the Odramacaku trading center in Arua City.

Speaking about the turn of events, Josephine wrote in a statement: "It's a very unfortunate and sad incident."

She went on to say: "May the souls of the deceased rest in peace and may the almighty God comfort the bereaved families in this trying moment.

"As for the injured, we pray for quick recovery."

The police official also noted in her statement that it's not unusual for the region to be hit by severe thunderstorms.

"It is a rainy season with a lot of lightning in West Nile and other similar incidences have been confirmed elsewhere in the same regions," she explained.

The country has one of the highest rates of lightning strike deaths in the world, while its capital Kampala witnesses more days of lightning each year than any city, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Nonetheless, the latest accident is the worst of its kind in Uganda since 2011, when 18 children were killed by a lightning strike.At the time, police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba told AFP news agency that 15 girls and three boys had died at Runyanya Primary School in the Masindi area.

Uganda's Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru said the deaths were a result of 'negligent' construction engineers who had failed to ensure the buildings were installed with lightning rods.

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

"I can assure you we are going to work with the relevant sectors to make sure that this is addressed.

"It is unfortunate that this is going to happen after we lost people."

Topics: Weather, Africa, Storm

EMS 7
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