Two schoolgirls, 13 prisoners hit by lightning in Zimbabwe on same day

The two girls died while the inmates survived

Fifteen people were struck by lightning on one day in Harare last week. Two schoolgirls died.
Fifteen people were struck by lightning on one day in Harare last week. Two schoolgirls died.
Image: 123RF/Richard Valdez

Thirteen inmates in Zimbabwe were hit by lightning while having lunch in the Hwange Prison courtyard in Matabeleland North on Friday, the same day two schoolgirls were killed by lightning in the capital of Harare.

One of the girls was run over by a car when she stumbled on to the road after the lightning strike.

The prisoners were rushed to hospital and four with severe injuries were referred to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) national deputy spokesperson Superintendent Peter Chaparanganda said it happened about “11.30am while the inmates were being fed lunch inside the prison yard”.

“All 13 inmates were rushed to St Patrick’s Hospital and four of them were reported to be in critical condition while the other nine were reported to be stable. The four were referred to Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo,” said Chaparanganda.

In a separate accident, the two schoolgirls, both 15, died after being struck by lightning near Harare while on their way from school.   Police confirmed the incident and said one of the schoolgirls was run over by a car after falling on to the tarmac when struck.

“Both victims were sent to the hospital and were pronounced dead upon admission,” said the police.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department (MSD) warned that the country will experience heavy rains with strong winds, lightning and hailstorms from November 19 to November 24.

“This, coupled with the high temperatures over much of the country, should result in thunderstorms which may be violent in places and coupled with strong winds, lightning, hail and heavy rains in some places,” said the MSD in a weather advisory.


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