Single lightning strike kills 16, injures 140 in Rwanda

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16 people have been killed and 140 injured after a lightning hit Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rwanda on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

The incident occurred in the town of Gihemvu in mountainous Nyaruguru District in the Southern Province, killing 14 victims on the spot. Two others died later from their injuries, local mayor Habitegeko Francois said.

Francois said that 140 people had been rushed to the hospital and district health centers.

“Doctors say that only three of them are in critical condition but they are getting better,” he said.

According to the mayor, a similar accident took place on Friday, March 9 when lightning struck a group of 18 students, killing one of them.

The deadly church incident comes less than two weeks after the closure of more than 700 Rwandan churches for failing to comply with building regulations and for noise pollution, BBS reported.

Lightning strikes are frequent across mountainous Rwanda. In 2016, lightning killed 30 people, injured 61 and killed 48 livestock, the most recent year with full figures, according to Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs.

Featured image credit: Richard Hurd (Flickr)

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