At least 41 killed in Egyptian church fire: Officials

At least 41 killed in Egyptian church fire: Officials

Egypt’s Coptic Church, citing the health ministry, has said 41 people were killed and 55 were injured in a fire at a church in the city of Giza, near Cairo.

Egypt’s health ministry had earlier said “several” people have been killed on Sunday at the Abu Sifin Coptic church in the Imbaba neighbourhood.

Two security sources told Reuters news agency an electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for mass, causing a stampede.

Fifteen firefighting vehicles were dispatched to the scene to put out the flames while ambulances ferried the casualties to nearby hospitals.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi spoke by phone with the Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to offer his condolences, the president’s office said.

“I have mobilised all state services to ensure that all measures are taken,” he said on his Facebook page.

Fire services later said the blaze had been brought under control.

Copts are the largest Christian community in the Middle East, making up at least 10 million of Egypt’s 103 million people.

Egypt has suffered several deadly fires in recent years.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a blaze in a textile factory in the eastern suburbs of Cairo.

In 2020, two hospital fires claimed the lives of 14 COVID-19 patients.

More to follow.