Lightning Strike Leaves 20 Dead in Congolese Capital

Twenty people were killed on Wednesday when a lightning strike damaged a high-voltage power line in a suburb of the Congolese capital Brazzaville, the local mayor and witnesses said.

The mayor of Kintele, Stella Mensah Sassou Nguesso, told state radio that seven bodies had been sent to a nearby morgue and another 13 to a mortuary in the capital.

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An eyewitness said lightning “cut through two high-voltage cables,” electrocuting people on the ground.

“One cable fell on a house… and electrocuted three occupants,” said the eyewitness, who gave his name only as Rock.

“The other cable, which fell into a courtyard flooded with water, electrocuted the neighbours,” he said. The area was hit by heavy rains early Wednesday.

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Ambulances, hearses, security officials and electric company workers rushed to the scene, another witness said.

Private individuals could be seen taking some bodies and injured people into their cars to take them to morgues and hospitals.

The number of injured was not immediately known.


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