Egypt church fire kills 41

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Egypt church fire
Egypt church fire - Reuter

Cairo: At least 41 people died when an electric fire erupted in a Coptic Christian church in Cairo, Egypt, causing a stampede, most of whom were children.

Just before nine in the morning, a fire broke out at the Abu Sifin church in the Egyptian city of Giza, where up to 1,000 people had gathered.

According to media reports, most of those killed were children, and the fire blocked an entrance to the church, leading to the stampede.

“Smoke was flowing from the second floor, and people were congregating on the third and fourth floors. People hurried to descend the stairs and began tripping over one another,” a worshipper said.

He claimed that because he and his daughter were on the bottom floor and managed to leave, “then we heard a bang, sparks, and fire coming out of the window.”

In Egypt, electrical fires are not uncommon. At least seven persons were killed in a fire at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients in late 2020.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered his condolences to the families of those who perished in the fire.

In a tweet, President Fattah wrote, “I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims that have passed on to be with their Lord in one of his houses of worship.”

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said a forensic examination showed that the fire began in the second-floor air conditioning as a result of an electrical malfunction.

Families of those who died will receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,220), according to a cabinet statement.

Giza, Egypt’s second-largest city, lies just across the Nile from Cairo. – Agencies

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