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Lightning killed at least 16 people and injured 140 others after it struck a Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rwanda. The injured churchgoers were taken to a nearby hospital. Most of the injured have been released, but 17 remain in the hospital.
Most of the victims died instantly when lightning hit the church in the southern district of Nyaruguru. Two people died from their injuries, and 140 people were rushed to hospital and health centres.
The weather accident in the mountainous region near the border with Burundi took place around midday on Saturday while parishioners of the town of Gihemvu were at a church service.
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. A high number of the closed churches did not have required lightning rods to prevent from lightning strikes.
Lightning strikes are frequent across Rwanda, which has many hills and mountains, and the country’s police record a number of human and livestock deaths each year.