Death toll from Congo volcano eruption rises to at least 32

With little warning Mount Nyiragongo turned the dark sky fiery red Saturday night and then spewed torrents of lava into villages destroying more than 500 homes, officials and survivors said.

CONGO VOLCANO’S LAVA FLOWS SHORT OF GOMA; 5 DEAD IN CRASH

The toll Monday increased from 22 to 32, and was likely to continue rising, according to Joseph Makundi, head of Civil Protection for the North Kivu province. More than a dozen people died in car accidents while trying to escape, he said. Others were killed when lava hit their homes.

Some died Monday from inhaling smoke or toxic gas when they were walking across a wide expanse of the cooling lava, the scientific director of the Volcanic Observatory of Goma, Celestin Kasereka Mahinda, told The Associated Press.

Residents check the damages caused by lava from the overnight eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Buhene, on the outskirts of Goma, Congo in the early hours of Sunday, May 23, 2021. Congo's Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades Saturday, turning the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway as panicked residents tried to flee Goma, a city of nearly 2 million. (AP Photo/Justin Kabumba)

Residents check the damages caused by lava from the overnight eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in Buhene, on the outskirts of Goma, Congo in the early hours of Sunday, May 23, 2021. Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo erupted for the first time in nearly two decades Saturday, turning the night sky a fiery red and sending lava onto a major highway as panicked residents tried to flee Goma, a city of nearly 2 million. (AP Photo/Justin Kabumba)

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