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Lightning kills seven pupils

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th September 2007 03:00 AM

Lightning struck Bujogo Primary School in Hoima district yesterday, killing seven pupils.

Lightning struck Bujogo Primary School in Hoima district yesterday, killing seven pupils.

By Amlan Tumusiime and Fred Kayizzi

Lightning struck Bujogo Primary School in Hoima district yesterday, killing seven pupils.

Seventeen others were rushed to Hoima Referral Hospital in a critical condition, some of them unconscious.

Located in Bugande sub-county, about 20 kilometers from Hoima town, Bujogo Primary School is a UPE school with over 580 pupils.

Emotions ran high at the rural school, as crowds of parents and relatives wailed for their beloved ones who met their death on the first day of the new term.

One of the parents, identified only as Nyendoha, said he had lost his only surviving child, Lucia Atugonza.

“Recently, I lost three of my children when our house caught fire. I had only remained with one girl. Now I have no children left,” Nyendoha said at Hoima Police station.

Alexander Sabiiti, a teacher, said the majority of the victims were from Primary Three and Four, who had been studying in an incomplete classroom block.

At first, there was a downpour which started at about 11:45am when he was teaching the Primary Three pupils, Sabiiti narrated. Strong winds and lightning followed.

“In a flash of a moment, I saw pupils lying unconscious outside the classroom. I wondered how and where they had passed to get there. I rushed outside, only to find them struck. Some had their skins peeled off.”

By press time, parents and shocked residents were still flocking to Hoima Police Station to identify the bodies, which had been taken there after a postmortem at the Government hospital.

“We are going to hand over the bodies to the parents after they have identified them,” Hoima Police commander, Andrew Gidoi, said.

The pupils killed were identified as John Arinaitwe, Wilberforce Wamani, Margaret Atugonza, Nabinja Kabarole, John Opaaru, Monica Nyamaizi and Lucia Atugonza.

Those admitted in hospital included Moses Muhumuza, Fred Katwesige, Regina Tugume, Goretti Kirimunda, Jennifer Atuhairwe, Specioza Mboneko and another identified only as Arinaitwe.

Both the area Member of Parliament, Tom Kyahurendwa, and the district chairman, George Tinkamanyire, expressed shock at the incident.

“I can’t believe this. It is a great loss to our district” Tinkamanyire said.

The district authorities have declared four days of mourning, during which all schools will remain closed.

Bugambe LC3 chairman John Bahemuka said this was the first incident of its kind in the area since he became chairman 20 years ago.

Hoima RDC Martha Asiimwe has dispatched a team of security officials to the school.

Lightning kills seven pupils

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