Five children killed in lightning strike

Sept. 16, 2009 at 5:25 PM
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BAMALI, Cameroon, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Five children were killed and 58 taken to a hospital in Bamali, Cameroon, when lightning struck as they started their school day Wednesday, state radio said.

Later in the day 34 children were still being treated for shock and other problems, Dr. Kwazo Kedze, chief medical officer at the Ndop district hospital, said.

The strike occurred at 8:20 a.m., when some children were in their classrooms and others still on the school's veranda, teacher Moses Kengong said.

Witnesses, including a prominent traditional ruler told state-run Cameroon Radio Television the event had mystical roots.

"There's something mystical about this incident," Bamali traditional ruler Fon Idrissu Ndofoa said.

Belief in witchcraft is common in Cameroon, where tradition says a thunderbolt is a way of settling disputes.

The mountainous northwestern region of Cameroon has suffered floods and landslides recently.

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