Aug 14, 2022 - World

Fire at Egyptian church kills at least 41, injures 45

burnt out hall inside the Abu Sefein Coptic church in Giza,
Religious images amid a burnt-out hall inside the Abu Sefein Coptic Church in Giza, Egypt, on Aug. 14. Photo: Tarek Wajeh/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 41 people have been killed and another 45 injured after a fire erupted at a Coptic church in Giza, Egypt, on Sunday.

Driving the news: The fire broke out during the Sunday service shortly after 9am due to an electrical second-floor malfunction in the church's second floor air conditioning, Reuters reports, citing a statement from the Interior Ministry.

The big picture: Roughly 5,000 people had gathered for the service at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt's second-largest city.

  • A stampede ensued after the fire blocked one of the entrances to the church.
  • Most of those killed were children, Egyptian authorities said, per Reuters.
  • Smoke inhalation was the primary cause of the deaths and injuries, according to the Interior Ministry.
  • Families of the deceased will receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,223 USD), the cabinet announced in a statement, per Reuters.

What they're saying: "I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims that have passed on to be with their Lord in one of his houses of worship," Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wrote in a tweet Sunday.

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