Lightning kills 8 workers in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Eight construction workers were killed in South Africa when lightning struck their tent northeast of Johannesburg, police said on Friday.

"There were 14 people in a tent when the lighting struck. Eight of them died and six were hospitalised," Leonard Hlathi, police spokesman for Mpumalanga province said.

The lightning storm struck the tent in Emalahleni on Wednesday evening and the dead included migrant workers from Mozambique and Lesotho, he added.

Municipality officials said the workers had been building an office complex in the city.

It is suspected their employer, a private property developer, erected the tent as makeshift accommodation for them on a piece of land near the city's prison.

They had been staying there for six months.

"It was a very small tent and there was no water or sanitation facilities there," said Selati Matlejoane, director for public safety for the Emalahleni municipality.

Thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence in the country during the summer rainy season.