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Barberton - The Mpumalanga department of education has revealed that as many as seven classes at the Barberton Secondary School were destroyed when lightning struck the buildings and set them alight on Thursday.

Provincial education spokesperson, Jasper Zwane, on Friday said the department had sent a technical team to the school at Umjindi, Mbombela, to assess the damage and investigate the cause of the fire.

Zwane said that the department was doing everything possible to restore the school buildings and to ensure that the disaster did not affect the smooth-reopening of the school in 2019.

Sakkie Dednam from Hi-tech Security company in Barberton told The Lowvelder media that the top floor of the school was struck by lightning at about 2 am on Thursday.

“Due to the electric fire caused by lightning, cables burnt, causing the upper floor of the school to burst into flames, while the lower floor was filled with water," Dednam said.

Barberton Secondary School is considered one of the best schools that achieves great results in Mpumalanga and is largely attended by children from rich families, residents of the area said.

African News Agency/ANA