DRC: Five people killed by toxic gas from Nyiragongo lava

 Steph Deschamps / May 24, 2021

At least five people were found dead on Monday, asphyxiated by toxic fumes from the rocky lava of the Nyiragongo volcano that erupted Saturday night in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 

We have just discovered five dead people in the Kibati area, Mambo Kawaya, president of the civil society of Nyiragongo, on the northern outskirts of the city of Goma in North Kivu province, told AFP. Another person is in a critical condition, breathing with difficulty, and has been taken to hospital, Kawaya added. These people, mostly young people, were asphyxiated by the gas of the lava as it cooled and they were trying to cross about 13 km north of Goma, where the flow cut off a major road linking Goma to the north of the province. The Nyiragongo volcano, whose slopes dominate Goma and Lake Kivu, had erupted suddenly on Saturday night, causing people to flee and fear. Two lava flows escaped from its flanks, one of which reached the edge of Goma, where it came to a halt on Sunday morning. The National Road 4 was cut off for several hundred meters between Goma and Butembo, interrupting traffic on this important regional trade route near the borders of neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.

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