Moroccan poet and novelist Mohcine Akhrif (1979-2019) died Sunday at a regional book fair in the northern city of Tetouan:

Writers at the event, held at Place El Feddane in Tetouan, reported seeing Akhrif take a microphone and be instantly electrocuted. A police source, quoted by Médias24, blamed heavy rains, saying the carpets may have been soaked.

Akhrif was an award-winning poet and novelist born in the northern city of Larache in 1979. He earned his doctorate in literature and was a prominent figure on the literary scene; he was the current president of the Writers Alliance of Northern Morocco.

Akhrif authored four poetry collections: Hymns of Departure (2001), Two Losing Horses (2009), winner of the Moroccan Channel Two Prize, and Taming Unbridled Dreams (2012). He has also published a novel, Partner in Love (2013), which won of the Moroccan Writers’ Union’s young-writer prize. His short story collection, A Dream While Napping (2017), won of the third prize of the Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity, and, the same year, he was selected to participate in the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction writer’s retreat.

An investigation has reportedly been opened.

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