At Least 16 Dead, Dozens Injured After Lighting Strikes Church in Rwanda

Rwanda Seventh Day Adventist churchgoers killed by lightning

At least 16 killed, 140 injured as lightning strikes Rwanda church

Worshippers were killed in Nyaruguru (red), in southern district of Rwanda (pink).

Lightning struck a a Seventh Day Adventist church in southern Rwanda's mountainous region Saturday and killed 16 people and injured 140.

Naija News learnt that fourteen of the victims died on the spot. the remaining two died from their injuries later.

Some 70 of the injured were admitted to Munini hospital, and 58 of them have been discharged, said Innocent Ndebeyaho, director of the hospital, on Sunday.

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"Doctors say that only three of them are in critical condition but they are getting better", he said via phone.

In another lightning strike on Friday, two people, including a primary school pupil, were killed and 16 others injured in Nyaruguru District, bringing to 18 the total number of people killed in the province in the past three days. In the United States, about 50 people are killed by lightning every year, but these deaths usually take place one-by-one, not in large groups.

Local news website Panor Actu said some of the churches did not have the required lightning conductors, metal rods or wires created to protect a building from lightning by diverting it harmlessly into the ground.

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