A pregnant woman was killed while four pupils were admitted in hospital in critical condition after being struck by lightning on Wednesday.
The separate incidents took place in Dehero Village, Karambo Cell, Mukura Secotor in Western Province’s Rutsiro District.
Mukura Sector Executive Secretary, Jean Paul Harindintwari, identified the dead as Angelique Nyirabemba, 30, a mother of three.
The children are primary six pupils at Groupe Scolaire Rwingongo.
“The deceased was at her home at Dehero Village and was trying to collect some items from outside as it was threatening to rain. Lighting struck three times within 30 minutes,” said Harindintwari.
The school’s accountant Claudine Uwimbabazi said the children were struck at about a quarter to 1pm.
“Pupils were heading back to class [after lunch break]. Lighting struck the last four pupils who were behind as they were entering class,” she said.
She added that as they were carrying pupils; making phone calls for help lightning struck again, this time splitting an electric pole at school into pieces.
The affected pupils were rushed to nearby Mukura Health Centre from where they were transferred to Kibuye Hospital in critical conditions, according to Harinditwari.
Alphonse Hishamunda the Acting Director of Risk Reduction and Preparedness Unit at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees, the south western area especially Karongi, Rubavu and Nyabihu districts are prone to lightning.
Over the last weekend, 21 people were reported dead and about 200 injured by lightning in the districts of Gisagara and Nyaruguru in Southern Province.
Statistics from the ministry indicate that about 50 people were killed by lightning strikes between January last year and this week.
The strikes have also injured about 190 people and killed 45 livestock.