September 5, 2014 6:35 pm

Student struck and killed by lightning at Waterloo campus

WATCH: University of Waterloo first year student killed by lightning strike. Mark Carcasole reports. 

TORONTO – A first-year engineering student at the University of Waterloo was killed Friday morning after being struck by lightning on campus.

University officials said the female student was hit while walking along a pathway from Ring Road to the student residences known as Student Village 1 around 9 a.m.

She was taken to hospital where she later died.

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READ MORE: How to stay safe near lightning

Officials said the student was 18, and originally from the Markham area. University of Waterloo president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur told reporters Friday afternoon the family has requested privacy and the university will not release her name

“On behalf of our entire community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I express heartfelt condolences to this student’s family, friends, and fellow students at this profoundly difficult time,” said Hamdullahpur, in a prepared statement.

He noted the student was both “academically strong and personally vibrant.” She was admitted to the school’s Nanotechnology Engineering program and was about to begin her first day of classes.

“Orientation week is a time when campus is especially vibrant and filled with optimism for the future, which makes this student death even more distressing, and her passing a source of immense grief,” said Hamdullahpur, adding that counselling services are available to students if they need.

READ MORE: Fatal lightning strikes are becoming less common in Canada and the United States 

The school cancelled frosh events in the wake of the lightning strike and advised students on Twitter to seek shelter from the storm.

There were no severe weather watches or warnings in effect for Kitchener-Waterloo at the time of the strike.

People close to the university campus tweeted condolences for the student:

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