At least 41 people were killed, and dozens injured during morning prayers after a huge fire broke out at a church in Giza’s Imbaba neighborhood in greater Cairo on Sunday. At least two officers and three civil protection service members were also injured responding to the fire. A large number of children may have been among the victims. Fifteen firefighting vehicles were dispatched to the scene to put out the flames. Most of the deaths and injuries were caused by smoke inside church. An ensuing stampede had also contributed to the deaths. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi tweeted his condolences to the victims. He said he is closely following developments of the “tragic accident” and that he has directed state agencies and institutions to take the necessary measures to immediately deal with the tragedy and provide care for those injured.
Egypt’s health ministry said 55 people were also taken to hospitals for treatment after being injured in the blaze. The interior ministry, which oversees the Civil Protection Authority, said the fire “broke out in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the church building, which includes a number of classrooms, as a result of an electrical fault.”About 5,000 worshippers were gathered at the church when the fire broke out and blocked the entrance. A team of prosecutors were dispatched to the church. Safety standards and fire regulations are poorly enforced in Egypt.