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Pupils Return to Class After Lightning Strike
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Classes reopened in a temporary location on Monday at a school in southwest China where lightning killed seven pupils less than a week ago.


The local government has selected four farmer's houses in Xingye Village of Kaixian County, Chongqing, as the temporary school for the 105 pupils.


Forty pupils missed classes as they are still recovering from the injuries incurred during the lightning strike on Wednesday.


Seven children aged 10 to 14 were killed and 44 others were hospitalized, six with serious injuries. Some of the injured suffered burns, internal and head injuries, including eye and ear injuries.


The families of the seven victims, six of whom were girls, will get 6,000 yuan (US$780) each in compensation. Government departments will also give the families financial aid.


The government and insurance company will also pay medical expenses for the injured pupils.


The local education authorities and Red Cross Society donated stationery, school equipment and other necessities.


The county government said it would invest 700,000 yuan (US$91,000) to build a new school equipped with lightning arresters or rods.


The desks and chairs in the old school are wooden with steel nails, which was supposed to have helped conduct the lightning.


Many schools in the poverty-stricken county have not had lightning rods installed.


(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2007)

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