Cairo church fire kills at least 41

Cairo church fire kills at least 41

Members of the security forces near the church, where a fire broke out that killed at least 41 people.

A fire started on Sunday in the middle of A mass in a church in a working-class district of Cairo left 41 dead, mourning the largest Christian community in the Middle East with 10 to 15 of the 103 million Egyptians.

The air conditioner in a classroom on the second floor of the building where the church is located broke down and released a large amount of smoke, which was the main cause of injuries and deaths, explains the Ministry of the Interior.

A wall of the Abou Sifine church, where a deadly fire broke out is declared on Sunday killing at least 41 people.

The Abu Sifin Church – named after the holy Mercury of Caesarea, revered by the Copts – is indeed wedged into a narrow alley in the working-class district of Imbaba.

One ​​of the fire trucks that were active there on Sunday blocked almost the entire width of the street in this densely populated area of ​​the left bank of the Nile.

The church is on the ground floor of a building, separated by just a few meters by a vis-à-vis, surmounted by a cross and also housing a service center social workers, noted an AFP photographer on the spot.

For Reda Ahmed, a resident of the neighborhood and neighbor of the church, the neighbors organized themselves to go look for the children.

But, he told AFP, those who came back could not go back because the fire was too big . The fire was later brought under control, authorities said.

A little further on, Father Farid Fahmy, a religious officiating at the nearby church of Mar Yemina, affirms that the fire started due to a generator which started after a power cut. #x27;electricity and suffered an overload.

The prosecution announced that it had opened an investigation and sent a team to the scene, while the Ministry of Health indicated that it had sent several dozen ambulances.

Because very quickly, President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi announced that he had mobilized all state services to ensure that all measures were taken.

Mr. Sisi also announced that he had offered his condolences by telephone to Coptic Pope Tawadros II, who has led the Christian community in Egypt since 2012.

Since then, the Coptic Orthodox Church has become more prominent in the political arena, under the leadership of Tawadros II, an outspoken supporter of Mr. Sisi, the first president of Egypt to attend mass every year. of Coptic Christmas while its predecessors dispatched representatives. church.JPG” media=”(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 99999px)”/>

Members of the security services near the church where the fire broke out.

In the sprawling megalopolis of Cairo, where millions of Egyptians live in informal settlements, accidental fires are not uncommon. More generally, Egypt, with dilapidated and poorly maintained infrastructure, regularly experiences deadly fires in its various provinces.

Already on Monday, a church had caught fire in Heliopolis, a wealthy district in eastern Cairo, without causing any deaths or injuries.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory in the eastern suburbs of Cairo. In 2020, two hospital fires claimed the lives of 14 COVID-19 patients.

Although numerous, Copts consider themselves to be ;dismissal of many positions in the civil service and deplore very restrictive legislation for the construction of churches and much more liberal for mosques.

The subject is sensitive and the Coptic rights activist of the person Patrick Zaki recently spent 22 months in detention for spreading false information in connection with an article exposing violations of the rights of Christians in Egypt.

The Copts have suffered reprisals from Islamists, including after Mr. Sisi's 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, with churches, schools and homes set on fire.

Mr. Sissi recently appointed for the first time in history a Coptic judge to head the Constitutional Court.

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