Lightning injures 52 at Ecuador traffic police school

QUITO (AFP) - A lightning strike injured 52 people at a training school for traffic police near Quito, with 15 briefly hospitalised, officials said Friday.

"The candidates were in formation to enter the dining hall when they were struck by shock waves from lighting that hit the premises," the Metropolitan Transit Agency said in a statement.

Thirty-seven were treated at the scene of the incident late Thursday and 15 were taken to hospitals for treatment, it said, adding that they have since been discharged.

In January, lightning killed three members of the same family in the Andean province of Loja, on the Peruvian border.

Heavy storms have pounded Ecuador in recent weeks, causing landslides and floods.

Since March 19, 11 deaths have been blamed on the stormy weather.