12 March 2018 | At least 16 people were killed and over a hundred were injured after lightning struck an Adventist Church in Rwanda on Saturday, March 10.
Most of the fatalities were instant. The BBC reported that 140 people were rushed to medical facilities with injuries. Two of those injured later died.
The lightning strike took place in Nyaruguru, a mountainous region of southern Rwanda near the border with Burundi. It took place at about noon during a church service.
“Doctors say that only three [more churchgoers] are in critical condition but they are getting better,” local mayor Habitegeko Francois told Agence France-Presse on Sunday.
Francois added that lightning had struck a group of 18 students in the area on Friday, killing one of them.
The BBC said that the lightning strike on the Adventist church comes less than two weeks after the closure of more than 700 Rwandan churches that had failed to satisfy building regulations or had caused noise pollution.
According to the BBC, Panor Actu, a local news outlet, reported that many of the shuttered churches did not have mandatory lightning rods installed. The devices are intended to protect structures in the event of a lightning strike.
The Rwanda Union Mission of the Adventist Church has over 1800 churches and has in excess of 830,000 members.