Tragedy struck as three Senior Secondary School (SS3) students in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra lost their lives on Saturday while playing football, when they were struck by lightning.
An eye witness told NAN that the lightning struck nine male students who were playing football with their peers on the school’s pitch barefooted.
“The students were practising on the football pitch with their coach preparatory to a football tournament.
“The coach had ended the training session before the rain started, but some of the students stayed behind to continue playing football.
“Lightning, accompanied by claps of thunderstorm suddenly enveloped the area and the boys were struck in the process.
“A teacher heard the students screaming and running. He ran to the field and saw at least nine students trembling and jerking on the turf.
“That was when he raised the alarm and people gathered to help. The boys were immediately rushed to the school clinic, from where they were taken to a hospital in Awka.
“Six of the nine boys were resuscitated and are currently receiving treatment, but three did not survive. Their parents have been contacted,’’ the witness told NAN.
A resident, Mrs Hope Egwu, told NAN that news of the accident went around on Sunday and everyone had been held spellbound.
At the hospital in Awka, parents and sympathisers trooped into the ward where the survivors were receiving treatment.
A doctor, who requested anonymity, told NAN that three out of the nine boys were brought into the hospital dead, but six others were revived.
“As of now, the parents of two of the dead boys have taken the corpses away, while one is still in the mortuary.
“It is sad that they were playing on the field barefooted. If they had boots on, the impact of the lightning would probably have been minimised,’’ he said.
When contacted, a police spokesman in Anambra, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the incident had not been reported to the police.
Speaking on the incident, Prof. Chukwudi Okani, Consultant Pathologist at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, said it was a natural disaster and not spiritual.
Okani said lightning could kill by electrocution through direct strike, side splash or ground current strike.
He advised that people should install thunder arrestors in their buildings to stave off electrical currents in the event of lightning. (NAN)
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