Lightning Kills Mom, 4 Kids Father was away at work By Mary Papenfuss, Newser User Posted Mar 11, 2011 12:13 AM CST 4 comments Comments Lightning and Thunder (©Corin@ 2008) (Newser) – A mother and her four children were struck dead by lightning when a bolt struck their thatched home in South Africa. Busisiwe Mdluli, 36, dropped dead alongside her children, ages 6 months to 12 years old. Three other children survived but were badly burned. The father was away at work when the tragedy occurred, reports the Telegraph. "He is absolutely shattered," said a local official. "The poor man lost half of his family in one moment."