by Ashis Sinha

Bokaro: At least 30 students sustained burn injuries when they were struck by lightning at Bandhdih Middle School, Jainamore around 15 kms from the district headquarters of Bokaro on Saturday afternoon. At the time of the incident, the students were in their classes, running on the veranda of the school building.

With the help of locals, the injured students were immediately rushed to the referral hospital. Later, a class IV student named Doli, was referred to Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) in critical condition.

Dr Abhay Bhushan Prasad, civil surgeon, Bokaro, informed that, the condition of one student is critical and she was referred to BGH for better treatment. The remaining students are being treated by doctors at ReferralHospital.

Shashi Mahato, the headmaster of the school said that, the incident occurred at around 12.30 PM. “It was raining lightly and classes (I and II) were going on in the verandah. Suddenly lightning struck on them and many of the students sustained burn injuries,” he added.

According to the locals, lightning rod (conductor) was installed on the school; building in 2004 but later it was stolen.

Notably, lightning conductors began to vanish from schools across the state, and school officials claimed that they were stolen. There is currently no information on the number of schools that have lightning conductors.

In 2007, the Jharkhand High Court issued an order telling the state government to put lightning conductors in all schools and other government buildings in the state. In the latter part of that year, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) issued an order requiring lightning conductors to be put in all government schools throughout the state of Jharkhand. In addition, the department of education at the school followed the instruction.

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