Over this past weekend on Saturday, 20 November, a group of young boys were caught in the incident at Sheepmoor in the Gert Sibande District when a thunder and lightning storm started.
According to police reports, the young boys were playing soccer at around 17:00 at a local sports ground. And when it started to rain, the children ran to take cover under a tree nearby.
It was then when nine of the children were struck by lightning and two of the boys sadly lost their lives. The remaining seven were taken to hospital.
The Provincial Commissioner commented on the lightning incident
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela has taken the time to send his condolences to the family of the two children and wishes a speedy recovery to the other injured youngsters.
The General further urged parents to be “vigilant” and teach their children about the dangers of lightning and “to avoid tall, isolated objects or even to stand near trees during stormy weather or rain”.
In South Africa, the chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 350 000. And according to SA Wheather Service, SA has the third most deaths caused by lighting in the world.