Lightning strike kills 16 and injures 140 others in Rwanda

A single lightning strike killed 16 people and injured 140 others in Rwanda on Sunday.


Two people are in serious condition, according to authorities.
The likelihood of so many people dying at once from lightning is extremely low, making this an unusual weather event.

A Rwandan provincial governor says at least 16 people were killed and 140 others injured when lightning struck a Seventh Day Adventist church in the country’s south.

Rose Mureshyankwano said 140 churchgoers were injured and rushed to a nearby hospital, where two are in serious condition.

Mureshyankwano said 17 of those injured are still in the hospital while the rest have been discharged.

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.

The governor said a similar incident occurred on Friday when lightning struck a group of 18 students, killing one. Last October, lightning killed 18 people in different parts of the country.

The likelihood of a lightning strike killing so many people at once is incredibly low. 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.

The deadliest incident likely took place in Luxembourg in 1807 when more than 300 people were killed at once when lightning struck a gunpowder factory, according to the History Channel.

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