School evacuated after building struck by lightning
A primary school in Devon was evacuated following a lightning strike on Wednesday morning.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to Mount Street Primary School in Plymouth at 9.57am to conduct a safety inspection.
The fire service confirmed that lightning did hit the side of the building, tripping the alarm, but added that no fire resulted from the strike, and there were no injuries.
An eyewitness told PlymouthLive that pupils and teachers were evacuated from the school and took cover in the greenhouse, before re-entering the school when the fire service had deemed that it was safe to do so.
The school informed all parents that their children were safe, but requested them to be collected as their clothing had become very wet from the heavy rain.
The Mount Street Primary School and Nursery posted a message on Facebook, informing parents of the evacuation, and of a disruption to phone and internet services, also caused by the storm.
The school said: “The fire brigade attended the site and all safety checks are clear.
“All children are safe, however they are wet,” the school said. “Please can you arrange collection from the school as soon as possible.”
It added that children could return to school at 1.30pm on Wednesday, or alternatively, on Thursday morning.
A spokeswoman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service said that crews had been sent to the scene where lightning had “hit the building of the school and tripped the alarm”.
“There was no fire at the scene,” she added.
Much of southwestern England and southern Wales remain under a Met Office yellow thunderstorm warning, cautioning that homes and businesses could experience flooding or disruption due to lightning strikes.
The warning said that some areas could see up to 50mm of rain fall within three hours on Wednesday afternoon, with risks of lighting throughout the day.
Thunderstorm warnings are also in place across the same region, as well as Northern Ireland, Scotland, and much of northern England for Thursday.
The seaside town of Salcombe was also particularly hard hit in the storm, experiencing flash flooding along the main shopping street.
Pc Emma Buley, of Devon and Cornwall Police shared a video of the flooding in Salcombe on Twitter.
“Flash floods in Salcombe this morning has affected dozens of businesses. Please be careful driving if you get caught in the rain today,” she said.