Nine schoolboys struck by lightning

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IOL pic feb13 school lightning strike Reuters More than 260 people are killed by lightning in South Africa each year, the SA Weather Service said.

Johannesburg - Four of the schoolboys struck by lightning on a cricket pitch in Johannesburg had been discharged from hospital by Tuesday night, paramedics said.

Two more boys remained in critical condition in Milpark Hospital and three others were stable, said Netcare 911 group manager Mande Toubkin.

“The two that are in a critical condition remain in ICU and the other three are in the trauma care (unit) under observation,” she said.

The nine boys, from King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, were struck by lightning while trying to pull covers over the cricket field, said Gauteng education department spokesperson Charles Pahlane. They were aged between 16 and 18.

At the school's premises, boys wearing cricket attire were not speaking to anyone. A school official directed all queries to the provincial education department and said the school had “no comment at this stage”.

However, it took to the social networking site, Twitter, to update parents.

“Update 9 boys struck by lightning, 7 stable and 2 are under high care. Full report to follow. Thank you for messages of support,” the school wrote on its Twitter page.

A second update read: “#KESBOARDINGPARENTS Please note all boarders are fine and safe. Only nine 1st Team cricketers affected. 7 are stable and 2 under high care.”

Pahlane said trauma counsellors would be sent to the school on Wednesday to speak to schoolchildren and teachers. - Sapa

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