At least 17 students of a school in Bentota, in the Galle district, suffered shock today morning when the school building was struck by lightning.
The incident occurred at 8.30 am at Elakatha Maha Vidyalaya, Bentota while the students were in the classroom.
Disaster Management Center Galle District Coordinator, Col. Asitha Ranasinghe said that the affected students were all admitted to the Nagoda General Hospital in Kalutara. He said the electrical circuits in the school building were destroyed during the incident. He said the students suffered from shock but no further injuries were reported.
Col. Ranasinghe said that a large crowd gathered at the scene when the incident took place creating a tense atmosphere but that teachers and parents had calmed the other students and had immediately rushed the students to the hospital.
14 students have already been discharged after OPD treatment, the rest will also be released soon, Col. Ranasinghe said. Meanwhile residents in the area were of the opinion that the tall fern trees in the schoolyard might have been the cause of lightning. (Olindhi Jayasundere, Kirthiwansa Tilakaratne and G.D Sugathapala)