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16 killed, 140 injured by lightning in Rwanda

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, March 12, 2018, 5:11 PM - At least 16 people are dead and 140 injured following a lightning strike a a Seventh-Day Adventist church in southern Rwanda Saturday, officials say.

Mayor Habitegeko Francois told AFP that most of the victims died instantly when lightning hit the church in the district of Nyaruguru.

Lightning also struck 18 students in the area Friday killing one, Francois added.

Three churchgoers are said to be in critical condition, but are improving.

According to local news affiliate Panor Actu, the church did not have legally-required lightning rods, which help protect a structure and its inhabitants from deadly strikes.

The incident comes less than two weeks after more than 700 churches were closed in the country for failing to comply with building regulations.

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