A first-year University of Waterloo student was struck and killed by lightning while walking on campus Friday morning.

The 18-year-old was walking down a pathway from the school's ring road to the Student Village 1 residence area around 9 a.m.

Fire officials say she had moved under a tree for shelter from the fast-moving storm when she was hit.

She was taken to hospital unconscious, where she was later pronounced dead.

"Everybody here at the University of Waterloo is deeply saddened," school spokesperson Nick Manning told CTV News.

The woman was a first-year engineering student from the Markham area, enrolled in the school's nanotechnology program.

Waterloo student Toni Ogumad said two of his friends saw her on the ground after she was hit.

“Her clothes were torn in different places. One of her shoes was on fire,” he said.

“She didn’t have any pulse, so they called 911.”

Authorities say they will not be releasing the student’s name at the request of her family.

Counselling services are available for students, university officials said.