Lighting strikes South Hornchurch school packed with football students
14:16 19 August 2014
Lightning struck a school hall packed with 45 children in a day of storms that also saw an elderly couple escape a bolt that penetrated their bedroom.
Glenn Poole sheltered his pupils in the hall of Whybridge Junior School, South Hornchurch, on Thursday last week to protect them from the raging storm - but after a flash of light and a deafening bang, the building shuddered.
The roof of the Blacksmith’s Lane school had been struck by lightning, terrifying the children, football coach Mr Poole, and parents who were waoiting outside.
“The alarm went off in the school and we had to evacuate the kids. They were very, very distressed,” said the manager, 33, who also plays for Billericay Town F.C.
“It was a mad five minutes. I did my best to hold it together because it me shook me up too.”
Fortunately nobody was hurt and Mr Poole rescheduled the Glenn Poole Soccer School presentation ceremony for the following day.
The same afternoon the school was struck, an elderly couple avoided being shocked when a lightning bolt punched through their roof and straight into their bedroom, according to a firefighter.
The family next door were out at the time when the bolt struck the roof of two semi-detached homes in Princes Park, South Hornchurch.
Fire crews from Hornchurch station attended at around 2.45pm after they received reports of smoke coming from the building.
When they arrived they found no blaze but tiles had been thrown from the roofs and a chimney had been damaged.
A firefighter who attended the scene said how the elderly couple were lucky to have been downstairs when the bolt struck.
“It could’ve been far worse but it did leave them with two holes in their roof with rain pouring in,” he said. “They were a bit shook up but they were fine.”