Lightning strike

28 puplis injured

picture BEIJING (29 May 2002)- Twenty-eight middle school students were injured when a bolt of lightning struck their two-floor school house in central China's Henan province, a report said Wednesday. Metal window frames in the school in Zhonghe township, Huojia county acted as electrical conductors and channeled Monday afternoon's lightning strike into the school's electrical wiring, said in a report on its news website.

The blast knocked students sitting near classroom walls out of their seats as windows shattered and the electrical system short-circuited, it said. Three students, one who suffered third-degree burns, were injured seriously but by Wednesday were in stable condition. Chinese middle schools cover the ages of 12 to 15.

Lightning is on of the biggest weather killer. Most victims are struck in the open, such as beaches or open fields, or when thay take shelter from the rain under a tree. However, lightning can be dangerous even if you are inside. If lightning hits a building, it can flow through plumbing, electrical or telephone wires. In fact lightning has killed people talking on wired telephones as well people in showers and bathtubs.

Cars offer lightning shelter as long as one doesn't touch any part of the metal frame.

copyright 2002 WeatherOnline and AFP

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