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2 KES pupils in ICU after lightning strike

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JOHANNESBURG – The five boys who were struck by lightning at King Edward VII School (KES) on Tuesday afternoon are in a stable condition in hospital.

A total of nine pupils were struck and taken to the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

Two pupils have since been discharged.

The school's 1st team cricketers were struck by lightning while trying to cover the pitch.

Two boys were resuscitated on the scene and are recovering in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Netcare 911 spokesperson Mande Toubkin said the boys’ condition had not changed overnight.

She said hospital officials hoped to discharge the learners who were in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, a father of a pupil from KES has told Eyewitness News how he resuscitated two of the cricketers who were struck by lightning. 

Mike Russel, a trained paramedic who owns event medical service company Miburn Medi-Call, responded along with his wife Bernadette, after two boys went into cardiac arrest. 

Russel was driving out of KES after his own son's cricket match had been called off due to the electrical storm.

He said he was alerted to the emergency by a security guard, and found the two boys in cardiac arrest when he arrived.

“My wife and I began resuscitating the first teen fortunately he responded well to treatment. We managed to get a pulse and spontaneous respiration.

Russel said once the first boy had been revived, he began administering CPR on the second teen.

“We did a full resuscitation on him, and fortunately managed to get circulation back.”

The KES parent said paramedics arrived within six minutes, and he praised the school's first-aid team who initially responded to the crisis. 

Although Russel was descried by many as a “hero”, he said what he did wasn't heroic.

“I think it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. Any other paramedic, or medic for that matter, would have done exactly what I did.”

CLASSES RESUME AT KES

After a traumatic day, parents on Wednesday morning dropped off their children as normal.

The cricket covers on the pitch where the accident happened had not been moved and a group of hostel boys could be seen on the field in the signature KES red and white sports gear earlier.

The school’s principal is expected to address learners at an assembly later.

SOWETO TEENS ALSO STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

Meanwhile the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) said it was also assisting 4 Soweto families whose teenage children were struck by lightning while walking back from school on Monday.

The GDE's Charles Phahlane said one of the pupils from the Protea Glen Secondary School is still in ICU while the others are stable.

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