41 KILLED IN EGYPT CHURCH FIRE, SAYS AUTHORITY

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EGYPT CHURCH FIRE: At least 41 people have died and 45 more have been injured in an electrical fire at a packed church in a working-class district of Greater Cairo.

41 KILLED IN EGYPT CHURCH FIRE, SAYS AUTHORITY
41 KILLED IN EGYPT CHURCH FIRE, SAYS AUTHORITY

At least 41 people have died and 45 more have been injured in an electrical fire at a packed church in a working-class district of Greater Cairo, Egypt, officials told the media.

A fire broke out just before 9 am local time on Sunday at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Imbaba, Giza, where over 5,000 people had assembled for prayers.

Security sources told Reuters that the majority of those killed were children as a stampede occurred because of the fire blocking the entrance to the church. According to witnesses, some individuals attempted to escape by jumping from higher storeys.

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“I send my profound condolences to the families of the innocent victims that have passed on to be with their lord in one of his houses of worship,” said Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, president of Egypt.

According to the president’s administration, Sisi also spoke over the phone with Tawadros II, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to express his condolences.

The prominent al-Azhar mosque in Cairo’s Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb sent his condolences as well.

About 10% of Egypt’s population of over 103 million is Christian, and they have long complained of discrimination by the Muslim majority.

Given the lax enforcement of safety standards and fire regulations in Egypt, Sunday’s fire was one of the greatest fire tragedies in recent times.

In March of last year, a fire at a clothing factory outside of Cairo resulted in at least 20 fatalities and 24 other injuries.


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