At Least 41 Dead In Massive Church Fire


Photo: Getty Images

At least 41 people have died and 14 others were hospitalized in relation to a massive fire at the Coptic Orthodox Church of Abou Seifain in Cairo, church officials and health authorities confirmed via ABC News.

The fire is reported to have engulfed the church on Sunday (August 14) after initially erupting at around 9:00 a.m. local time.

The blaze "broke out in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the church building, which includes a number of classrooms, as a result of an electrical fault" and has since been brought under control, according the interior ministry, which oversees the Civil Protection Authority, via ABC News.

Five policemen were injured in relation to the fire, according to the ministry.

The health ministry also cited an ensuing stampede as a contributing factor to the death toll. Images and videos from the church showed victims with apparent wounds screaming in pain.

Eyewitnesses said many of the fire victims were children. Local media has shared numerous heroic stories of individuals rescuing children from the flames.

A list of victims' names shared by a parliament member representing the local district of Imbaba confirmed that an entire family was killed in the fire.

"I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident ... and I have directed all concerned state institutions to take all necessary measures, and immediately to deal with this incident and its effects and to provide all aspects of healthcare to the injured," Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in a post shared on Facebook via ABC News.

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