By Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Eighteen students and a teacher died Tuesday after lightning struck their school in the country’s midwest, Ugandan police said Wednesday.

Local police spokeswoman Zura Ganyana said 51 students between the ages of 7 and 16 were injured by the lightning strike. She said the teacher who died was visiting the Runyanya Primary School, about 160 miles west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.

Zombo education official John Ojobi said another school 200 miles northwest of Kampala also was hit by lightning Tuesday, injuring 37 students and two teachers.

Meteorology experts said school buildings are struck because they don’t have lightning conductors and are built on high ground.

In the past few weeks, lightning strikes around the country have killed at least 34 people.

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