Fallen power cable kills 26 in Congo-Kinshasa

Friday, February 4, 2022

Kinshasa province within DR Congo.
Image: User:Profoss / User:NordNordWest.

At least 26 people were killed on Wednesday in the outskirts of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo when a high-tension electric power cable was struck by lightning and fell to the ground near a marketplace.

The country's energy provider, Société Nationale d'Électricité, said it happened during a severe storm and issued condolences to the victims' families. According to local media and police, the incident occurred in the Matadi-Kibala district and the electrocuted victims were mostly women working at the market.

Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde said in a statement, "I share the immense pain of the families. My thoughts are also with all the injured." A spokesperson said the government was holding a crisis meeting about relocating the market.

The BBC quoted one merchant as saying rains often caused buyers and sellers at the market to wade through water.