Lightning strike at Miyazaki high school soccer pitch injures 18

Lightning that struck a high school soccer pitch during a practice match in Miyazaki City, southwestern Japan, has left two people seriously injured, while 16 others were also hospitalized.

A thunderstorm advisory had been issued at the time, due to developed rain clouds that hovered over the city.

Miyazaki City Fire Department officials say they were alerted by a call shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday that a lightning strike at Oyodo Gakuen Hosho High School soccer field had left a number of people injured.

Firefighters went to the scene and took 18 people to hospital. Two were seriously injured.

The Meteorological Agency says a low-pressure system accompanied by a rain front destabilized atmospheric conditions in southern Kyushu and elsewhere, prompting officials to issue a thunderstorm advisory at the time.

The high school told NHK that it didn't suspend the game because it was no longer raining heavily, and there were no signs of thunder.