JOHANNESBURG : A lightning bolt struck a church in Malawi, killing eight worshippers and injuring several others, local media reported.
Several members of the Seventh Day Adventist church in the capital Lilongwe were admitted to hospital after Saturday's strike, the Nyasa Times said, citing witnesses, police and health officials. "The worshippers were having an extended session of Saturday prayers when lightning struck their church at around 4.30pm," Charles Mwansambo, chief of health services in the ministry of health, told AFP.
He said the eight victims - included seven adults and one child - had "arrived already dead" at Kamuzu Central hospital from the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Mwansambo said one person was at the intensive care unit, while 40 others were being "observed" and treated as outpatients.
"It's a disaster... it was a natural phenomenon," Mwansambo said.
"People were inside the church attending the service when the lightening stuck. I first heard a loud burst which frightened almost everybody and few minutes later I just saw a stampede," the paper quoted a witness as saying.
Lightning has killed three other people in separate incidents since the start of the rainy season last month, according to media reports.