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‘People started falling on top of each other’: At least 41 people – including children – killed in fire at Egypt church

A fire broke out at a church just a few miles away from Cairo, resulting in the deaths of 41 people.

Sources told Reuters that an electrical fire broke out when 5,000 worshippers gathered at the Coptic Abu Sefein Church in the Imbaba neighborhood near Cairo for mass.

They said that the fire caused a stampede and blocked access to the church. Most of those who died were children.

According to security sources and health officials, the Coptic Church in the country announced that at least 10 children were among the dead.

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At least 14 others were also reportedly hurt.

Image: The damage can be seen from the outside. Pic by AP
Image: Witnesses inspect the scene of the fatal fire. Pic by AP

Yasir Munir, a worshipper at this church, said that people were gathering on the third floor and fourth floors and that smoke was coming from the second.

“People ran down the stairs in a rush and began falling on each other.

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He said that they heard “a bang, sparks and fire coming from the window” and added that his daughter and he were both on the ground floor. They were able to escape.

Maher Murad, a journalist, told Reuters that he had left his sister in the church after praying. He added: “As soon I got away from it by just 10 meters, I heard the sound screams and saw thick smoke.

“After the firefighters put out the fire, I recognized my sister’s corpse.

“The bodies were all burned, and many of them were children who had been in a nursery in the church.”

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Families grieve for the victims of the Egypt church fire

Abu Bishoy said, “There are children. We didn’t know how we could get to them.”

“And we don’t know who this is or whose daughter it is. Is it possible?

According to the interior ministry, it received a fire report at 9:01 AM local time. The fire broke out in an Air Conditioner on the second floor.

Image View of the damage to the church

The president spoke to Pope Tawadros II by telephone to express condolences.

“I am closely watching the developments of this tragic accident,” wrote Mr al Sisi on Facebook.

“I directed all state agencies and institutions concerned to take all necessary steps, and to immediately deal with the accident and its consequences.”

Sunday’s fire is the most devastating fire tragedy in recent years, in a country that has poor fire regulations and safety standards.

A fire broke out at a Cairo garment factory in March 2013. At least 20 people were killed and 24 others were injured.

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