Fri | Dec 8, 2023

Dinthill students pray for injured schoolmates after lightning strike

Published:Thursday | September 21, 2023 | 12:09 AMRasbert Turner/Gleaner Writer
Juanita Hunter, of the Ministry of Education and Youth, speaks with the players of the Dinthill daCosta Cup football team yesterday, the morning after some of them were struck by lightning during a match at Charlemont High in St Catherine on Tuesday.
Juanita Hunter, of the Ministry of Education and Youth, speaks with the players of the Dinthill daCosta Cup football team yesterday, the morning after some of them were struck by lightning during a match at Charlemont High in St Catherine on Tuesday.

With two students still hospitalised after being struck by lightning on Tuesday, a sense of gloom and anxiety swept across Dinthill Technical High School in St Catherine yesterday.

When The Gleaner visited the institution in the morning, teachers, students, and personnel from the Ministry of Education and Youth were busy in the auditorium.

Students Jordan Harrison and Asher Hutchinson, who were among four individuals who were treated and released after falling victim to the lightning strike, said they were praying for the recovery of those still in hospital.

Juanita Hunter, guidance and counselling educator for Region Six, was left very busy ensuring that youngsters at the school were given appropriate psychological support in wake of the incident.

“In response to the incident at the football match, where some of our students were affected, the trauma intervention [team] has visited,” Hunter said.

“We have had an active session with them during which they expressed shock, anxiety, and overall trepidation, but we are confident that the intervention will help in the healing process,” she said.

Novelette Malcolm, vice-principal at Dinthill, said the incident has been a cause for concern.

“We continue to pray for the complete recovery of those in hospital and the strength and resilience of those who were treated and released,” Malcolm said. “The school also appreciates the spiritual gift of the Bethlehem Temple Church of God, which worshipped and prayed with us this morning.”

Physical trainer Glendale Facey said he was still shaken by the freak accident.

“In all my 20-odd years in football, it is the first such incident that I have witnessed. It leaves me with a lasting headache. I can still remember lifting one of the students, and he was shaking very hard,” Facey said.

He was still awaiting the school’s nurse when The Gleaner departed.

A visit to the Charlemont High School, where the incident took place, revealed a lush greenfield.

The lightning struck half an hour after the 3:30 p.m. start of the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup football match between the schools’ senior teams, which was being held at the Charlemont football field.

The injured persons were taken to the Linstead Hospital.

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