At least 16 people are left dead with dozens more injured after lightning struck a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rwanda. The freak occurrence resulted in several killed on the spot nearly instantly as lightning struck the church. The church was in the southern district of Nyaruguru in Rwanda according to local mayor Habitegeko Francois. Two died of injuries after the lightning struck and a total of 140 people were rushed to emergency care in nearby hospitals and health centers.
Doctors say that only three of the surviving wounded are in critical condition at this time, but even they appear to be getting better. A student was also killed nearby by the lightning according to mayor Francois. The student was in a group of 18 in the area, but the only one killed. This incident occurred in the mountainous region near the border of Burundi on Saturday. At the time, the parishioners of the church, inhabitants of the town of Gihemvu, were attending services.
Just two weeks prior, 700 Rwandan churches were closed due to failure to comply with building regulations and/or for noise pollution. Panor Actu, a local news outlet, has reported that many of the closed churches did not have lightning rods, as required.