A fire in a church in Cairo during a mass, caused by an electrical failure, has caused at least 41 deaths and a dozen injuries this Sunday, in a tragedy that has shaken the Egyptian Coptic community.
According to the Coptic Church, which cites sources from the Ministry of Health of the Arab country, the death toll is already 41, while 14 people were injured during the fire during mass in the church of El Mártir Abu Sefein (San Mercurio). , located in the Al Munira area, in the Imbaba neighborhood, southwest of Cairo.
In the absence of official confirmation, Egyptian media say that among the deceased there are many children, a possibility that is reinforced by the traditional role that Coptic churches have as schools, social centers and community gatherings for this religious minority.
Among the dead, according to a security source told Efe, is the priest of the Abu Sefein church, Abdel Masih, whose body was transferred to Aguza Hospital.
AN ELECTRICAL FAILURE CAUSED THE FIRE
The first warning of the fire was given around 8:57 a.m. (6:57 GMT), according to the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, who said that the ambulances arrived at the church just two minutes later.
The Ministry of the Interior, through the official Egyptian news agency MENA, pointed out that, according to the first investigations, the fire originated in the air conditioning unit on the second floor of the church building, which includes several classrooms, for a electrical failure, which caused the emission of a thick amount of smoke, the main cause of death of people.
It also indicated that two officers and three civil defense personnel were injured.
The source added that they received notice of the fire around 9:00 a.m. (7:00 GMT) and the Civil Defense forces directed and controlled the fire, in addition to evacuating the dead and wounded to transfer them to the Imbaba General and Aguza hospitals. , those closest to the place of fire.
So far, the latest report from the Ministry of Health only indicates that “55 cases” were transferred to hospitals, including dead and wounded, without giving further details.
Egyptian television showed the church, which has been completely burned inside and which is located in a popular neighborhood of the Egyptian capital.
On the other hand, the Egyptian Solidarity Minister, Neven al Kabaj, visited the injured in the Church incident and decided to give 50,000 Egyptian pounds (2,545 euros) to the family of each of the dead, in case the deceased was the father or head of the family, 25,000 pounds (1,272 euros) for each of the dead and 5,000 pounds (254 euros) for each of the injured, as announced by the ministry on its official Facebook account.
The Egyptian Prosecutor’s Office ordered an investigation into the fire and formed “an extensive investigation team to investigate the incident of the church fire in Imbaba, which immediately moved to inspect it and initiate investigation proceedings,” it said in a brief statement on its official page. Facebook, adding that they will announce their results “whenever possible.”