A fire ripped through a church in a densely populated neighborhood of the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday, 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.
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.
Egypt’s Christians account for some 10% of the nation’s 90 million people and have long complained of discrimination by the nation’s Muslim majority.
Egypt ‘s President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi paid his condolences to the families of the victims of a fire accident at a church in Cairo on Sunday.
I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident in Al-Munira Church in Giza Governorate, and I have directed all concerned State agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, and immediately to deal with this accident and its effects, and to provide all aspects of healthcare for the injured.
I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who moved to the side of their Lord in one of the houses in which they worshipped.