SCHOOLBOY Joe Compton is said to be in a serious but stable condition after being struck by lightning outside Dorcan Academy.

Witnesses said the 11-year-old, believed to be a Year Seven pupil, was standing next to a lamp post in the school car park when the lightning struck it this afternoon.

First aiders from the nearby Dorcan Recreation Centre rushed to treat the youngster. He was taken by Ambulance to the Great Western Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, electrical shock and severe burns.

He has since been transferred to Frenchay Hospital, in Bristol.

A spokesman for the Great Western Ambulance Service praised the efforts of those on the scene who carried out first aid.

“We responded to reports of a young boy who had been struck by lightning, so it is down as electrocution,” he said.

“At 3.10pm we had the call that an 11-year-old, thought to be from Dorcan Academy, had been struck by lightning.

“A paramedic arrived on the scene at 3.15pm, with back-up from an ambulance at 3.22pm.

“The lightning strike had sent him into cardiac arrest.

“He was also attended to by first aiders from Dorcan Academy.

“They were doing CPR while waiting for the paramedic to arrive and he had a return of pulse on our arrival.

“He was taken to Great Western Hospital. It is difficult to describe the injuries but it is very serious and life threatening.

“In terms of our response he was in hospital conscious and breathing again within 24 minutes.

“The first aiders on the scene did a very good job.”

A statement posted on the school's Facebook page said: "Yesterday there was a very serious accident after school. A Year 7 student was struck by lightning in the school car park while waiting for a lift home.

"Leisure Centre first aiders gave emergency first aid immediately before a paramedic car and ambulance arrived.

"The boy was taken to hospital in Swindon and later transferred to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, where his condition is said to be ‘serious but stable’. Our thoughts at this time are with the boy and his family."

An eyewitness said: “A Year Seven boy was waiting in the car park to get collected. He was standing next to a lamp post when the bolt struck it and him too.

“Staff from Dorcan Recreation Centre and a parent performed CPR and he was taken to hospital with burns.”

A spokesman for GWH said Joe was in a serious but stable condition. He was due to be transferred to Frenchay Hospital, which was expected to happen overnight.

Coun Richard Hurley (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) said: “I’ve got grandkids coming up to that age and I can’t imagine what I would do if that happened to them.

“You try to do as much as you can to protect them but how can you protect them from an act of God like that? It’s just frightening.

“It’s times like these that makes you think everyone should perhaps have a little bit of first aid knowledge.

“I just hope everything is going to be okay for him and the family.”

Joe’s schoolfriends took to social networking sites during the afternoon with messages of support while staff at the nearby Messenger pub said they wished the victim well.