Fire at Coptic Church in Cairo kills 41, hurts 14

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Cairo, Aug. 14 (BNA): A fire ripped through a church in a densely populated neighborhood of the Egyptian capital of Cairo, leaving at least 41 dead and injuring 14, the country’s Coptic Church said.


The cause of the blaze in the Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighborhood of Imbaba was not immediately known. An initial investigation pointed to an electrical short-circuit, according to a police statement.


The Coptic Church reported the casualty toll, citing health officials. It said the fire broke out while a service was underway Sunday morning, according to the Associated Press (AP).


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-Sissi spoke by phone with the Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to offer his condolences, the president’s office said.


“I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident,” el-Sissi wrote on Facebook. “I directed all concerned state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, and immediately to deal with this accident and its effects.”