18 children among dead in Egypt church fire

18 children among dead in Egypt church fire

Pre-burial prayers following the fire at Abu Sefein Church | Photo credit: AFP

The death toll from the Abu Sefein church fire is 41 dead, including 18 children, and 14 injured. Hundreds of mourners gathered late Sunday afternoon for pre-burial prayers in churches near the Waraq district.

The fire occurred in Abu Sefein Church in Imababa (Giza) as worshipers gathered for morning mass on Sunday August 14.

Egypt’s public ministry released a statement containing the results of the preliminary investigation, saying the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. The electrical short would have produced a significant amount of smoke, which was inhaled by the majority of the victims, according to Egypt’s chief prosecutor Hamda el-Sawy.

Photo credit: Unknown Twitter

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi offered his condolences to the families of the victims and ordered the Armed Forces Engineering Authority to repair the Abu Sefein Church. According to Coptic Orthodox Church spokesman, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Diocese of St. Mark discussed reconstruction plans with Armed Forces Engineering Authority Chairman Hesham El Swefy, during a phone call.

The Grand Azhar Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb, offered his condolences to Pope Tawadros II and to all Christians in Egypt. He also ordered Al-Azhar University Hospitals to treat all victims of the fire. In coordination with civil society organizations, Al-Azhar will pay additional compensation of EGP 50,000 (USD 2,613) to affected families.

Similarly, the Egyptian Red Crescent has dispatched two psychological support teams to the hospitals where the victims are being treated. Egyptian Red Crescent CEO Dr. Ramy El-Nazer explained in a statement that the therapists are highly qualified to offer the necessary psychological support to the injured and the families of the deceased.

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Over 41 dead in Abu Sefein church fire in Egypt

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