Water slides near lightning strike at school
WATER slides had been used near an area where lightning struck at a Gladstone school, resulting in multiple teachers and students being taken to hospital.
As a serious thunderstorm rolled across the port city from about 1.20pm on Tuesday, Clinton State School students were being moved from the oval, where year six children had been celebrating the end of their primary schooling by playing on water slides.
Thunder rumbled around the region when, about 1.30pm a lightning strike hit the oval near a group of students and two teachers.
Paramedics were called to the scene, with three ambulances responding to a priority Code 1 call.
When they arrived at the Harvey Road school, paramedics found 14 students and two teachers complaining of tingling and numbness to their limbs as a result of being close to the strike zone.
As the multiple Queensland Ambulance Service QAS paramedics treated 14 students at two teachers at the scene, the priority of one 30-year-old man was escalated when he was reportedly suffering chest pain.
After examining 16 patients, paramedics transported 15 people - 13 students and two teachers, to Gladstone Hospital in a stable condition.
A Department of Education spokesman said the lightning strike occurred at lunch time.
“The Department of Education can confirm two teachers and 13 students were transported to
hospital today as a precaution after a lightning strike near the school’s oval at lunch time,” the spokesman said.
“Teachers were in the process of moving students off the oval due to rumbling overhead and
lightning in the distance when the strike occurred.
“There was no rain at the oval at the time of the strike.”
Once the students and teachers were safely undercover, the QAS was contacted.
“The Queensland Ambulance service was contacted immediately to assess staff and
students in the vicinity of the strike,” the spokesman said.
“Reports that students were engaged in “water play” at the time are incorrect.
“Year 6 students had taken part in a traditional end-of-year water slides earlier in the day. “There were no water activities in operation on the oval when the lightning strike occurred.”
The spokesman said guidance counselling and support was being offered to any students or staff who required assistance.
The thunderstorm, which brought this month’s first rain, a total of 2mm, rolled out to sea by 3pm.
A Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman said at 3.46pm one adult and one child remained at Gladstone Hospital for observation.