Lightning strikes 50 police recruits

via Lightning strikes 50 police recruits – Nehanda Radio. 21 October 2014

At least 50 police recruits escaped death by a whisker, after a bolt of lightning struck a tent they were using during training, at Lowdale Training Centre in Shamva, last Thursday.

While the official figures indicate that there were 50 recruits, and three were injured, impeccable police sources at Morris Depot, said there were 60 recruits and 15 of them were injured, eight of them seriously.

The sources said of the eight seriously injured, six were still admitted at Morris Depot Camp Clinic by yesterday, while two were at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

The sources said the bolt of lightning struck while the recruits were on a shooting exercise.

Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, yesterday said that all the affected recruits had since resumed their training.

“Three recruits sustained minor injuries and were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital for further management,” he said.

“They were admitted for two days, and later discharged.”

Chief Supt Nyathi said the whole group was safe and had since resumed training.

The police sources said the incident, involving the recruits from Morris Depot, occurred between 6 and 7pm and the 15 injured were all female.

The number of instructors, who were accompanying the recruits, could not be established, but seven of the recruits were examined and discharged after their degree of injuries was said to be minor.

Although details were still sketchy yesterday, the same police sources said the recruits were conducting a shooting exercise at the farm, as part of their routine training session.

They were struck by lightning, following the rains that were experienced in some of parts of the country last week.

Our Harare Bureau understands that recruits usually undergo one week training sessions at the farm, conducting shooting exercises with FN rifles and other weapons, as part of their training.

This was the first incident in which recruits and members of the police have been struck by lightning during training in the country.

Several people have been killed, while others were injured after being struck by lightning in recent months and years.

In February this year, several people were left homeless, after five homesteads were struck by lightning in Muzarabani.

Last year, 38 people were struck by lightning across the country during the rainy season.

Lightning is described by experts, as a powerful sudden flow of electricity (an electrostatic discharge) accompanied by thunder, that occurs during a storm.

The discharge will travel between the electrically charged regions within a thundercloud, or between a cloud and another cloud, or between a cloud and the ground.

The charged regions within the atmosphere, temporarily equalise themselves through a lightning flash, commonly referred to as a strike, if it hits an object on the ground.

There are three primary types of lightning: from a cloud to itself (intra-cloud or IC); from one cloud to another cloud (CC) and between a cloud and the ground (CG). The Herald