Students hospitalised after lightning strikes a tree on campus

NASSAU – The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) says tests have been carried out on eight students who were taken to the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) on Thursday after lightning struck a tree on the campus of the Bishop Michael Eldon Anglican High School in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

In a brief statement, the PHA said that three of the students “are expected to require further medical attention and monitoring,” and that all eight students are clinically and neurologically stable and are undergoing tests.

“We extend our sincere thanks to the school and medical staff at Rand Memorial Hospital for their swift and effective response to this emergency. We will continue to keep the families informed about their children’s conditions as new information becomes available.

“Our thoughts are with the affected students and their families. We are committed to ensuring they receive the best possible care during this challenging time,” the PHA said in the statement.

The lightning is reported to have hit a tree on the school campus, travelled underground and hit a concrete pavement where several students were standing.

Emergency Medical Services said four students were injured by flying debris.

The school administrator, Tiffany Sweeting-Smith, said small rocks were embedded under a student’s skin and that students were changing classes, and a group from the tenth-grade were near to where lightning hit the tree.

“The students were struck by bits of rock, rubble or debris,” she said and that doctors evaluated a teacher for numbness in her arm.

Everyone is in good spirits and thank God for keeping them safe, as things could have been worse,” said Smith, adding that she had never experienced anything like this in her 16 years at the school.

School principal Cynthia Wells said while classes were dismissed after the incident, some students stayed to complete their national examinations. (CMC)

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