240108. The building of the King Edward VII School in Houghton. Picture:Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Nine boys from King Edward VII School in Johannesburg were struck by lightning on Tuesday, the Gauteng education department said.

“Details are not clear at this stage, but we understand that they were pulling covers on the cricket field when lighting struck,” spokesman Charles Phlalane said.

“The boys were taken to Milpark hospital. Two are in ICU receiving high care.”

A security guard controlled entrance to the school on Tuesday evening, as parents went to fetch their children.

A school official, who did not want to be named said: “No comment at this stage from the school. Can all queries please be directed to the provincial education department.”

Two Netcare 911 cars were seen leaving the school premises from the direction of the cricket field.

Schoolboys, dressed in cricket attire, were not speaking to anyone.

Earlier, Netcare 911 said eight boys had been struck by lighting.

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