By Enyichukwu Enemanna
At least four children have been pronounced dead following the collapse of a church after a heavy downpour in southern Burundi, a local official and state media announced on Sunday.
15 other children were reported to have sustained varying injuries after the incident which occurred during a Bible study.
Heavy downpours and strong winds began to lash Kiyange at around 7 a.m. (0500GMT), local government official Esperance Inarukundo told AFP.
The bad weather “caused a lot of damage, including the collapse of the Kiyange Pentecostal church,” where children were attending religious education classes, Inarukundo said.
“We are continuing to search the rubble and have already found the bodies of four dead children and 15 injured in the church,” she said, adding that local residents, the Burundi Red Cross and civil protection were helping the rescue operation.
The state-owned Burundi News Agency confirmed the death toll on X, formerly Twitter, saying that “a church wall collapsed” on the children.
With a total population of 12 million, Burundi a landlocked country is considered one of the poorest nations on the planet.