Six construction workers are dead after being struck by lightning on the N8 outside Botshabelo near Bloemfontein on Wednesday, said paramedics.

Five others were injured, said ER24 spokesman Chitra Bodasing.

The men, between the ages of 20 and 40, took refuge under a structure when it began to rain and the lightning struck.

"ER24 paramedics and other services arrived on scene and found the patients lying in and around the structure," said Bodasing.

The six were declared dead on the scene while the five sustained minor injuries.

They were treated on scene before being transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

On Tuesday, a Grade 11 pupil from Hoër Tegniese Skool (HTS) died after also being struck by lightning.

Francois Clarence, who was a first team hockey player was reportedly playing against a team from Potchefstroom when the storm struck without warning on Tuesday afternoon, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"The teachers told the players to run to the school cafeteria, which was 200 metres away. While he was running across the rugby field, Francois was struck by lightning," said Emalahleni police spokesman Captain Eddie Hall.

"From the reports it looks like he was hit directly by the lightning, as his clothes were burnt. The lightning didn't strike the ground first."

Paramedics were immediately called to the scene and tried to resuscitate Clarence, whose heart had stopped beating.

They got a faint pulse and he was rushed to intensive care at Life Cosmos Hospital.

Family, fellow pupils, and community members held a prayer session at the hospital but he died late on Tuesday night.

Source: Sapa