International

Lightning kills 14, wounds 140 in church in southern Rwanda


KIGALI, Mar. 12 — At least 14 people were killed and around 140
others injured when a church was struck by lightning in southern Rwanda on
Saturday, sources said on Sunday.

Some of the injured were in critical condition, Francois Habitegeko, mayor
of Nyaruguru District, Southern Province, told a media briefing on
Saturday.  The death toll of the tragedy remains at 14 on Sunday, Governor
of Southern Province Marie Rose Mureshyankwano confirmed to Xinhua.
Volunteers and Rwanda Red Cross staff have been helping the affected
families in burying the victims, said a Red Cross official who requested
anonymity.  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.  One of them was referred to University Teaching
Hospital of Butare, a national referral hospital, he said.

About 70 others were taken to other health facilities and have been
discharged, he added.  The lightning hit through the open back door of the
church, affected those sat behind and killed all people who had phones with
them, Ndebeyaho quoted survivors as saying.  The lightning also damaged the
back wall of the church, said the director.  Southern Province is prone to
lightning, according to governor Mureshyankwano.  Two more people were
reportedly killed by lightning on Sunday in separate cases in the districts
of Gisagara and Huye in the province, the governor said. 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. – XINHUA