Weird weather around the world: lightning strike kills 18 in Uganda

Ruth Doherty

Lightning has been causing air travel chaos in Britain this week, and is now responsible for the deaths of 18 children after hitting a a junior school in Uganda's western Masindi area, according to officials.

Police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba told AFP news agency 15 girls and three boys had died at Runyanya Primary School in Kiryandongo on Tuesday.

Kiryandongo police commander Patrick Byaruhanga told Uganda's state-owned New Vision paper that the lightning struck at about 1630 local time (1330 GMT) as pupils were in their classrooms waiting for a downpour to subside before going home.

According Uganda's Daily Monitor, Kiryandongo's district commissioner told reported that 36 pupils had been admitted to hospital.

Concern about the number of recent deadly lightning strikes has prompted MPs to raise the matter in parliament.

Up to 28 people have been killed by lightning and scores injured in the past week, the private Daily Monitor reports.

According to the AP new agency, meteorologist Ken Kizza Aderi says the lack of lightning conductors on buildings could be partly responsible for the deaths.

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