Politics

Qatar’s amir offers condolences to Egypt after tragic church fire – Doha News


Egypt’s Christians make up around 10% of the country’s population of more than 103 million people.

Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad issued a letter of condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi for the victims of the fire at the Abu Sifin church in the Giza Governorate, state news agency reported.

The blaze was caused by an electrical failure at a packed church in a working-class suburb of Greater Cairo, killing at least 41 people, including a number of children, and wounding 45 more, according to Egyptian officials.

The fire broke out soon before 9am local time at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Imbaba, Giza, where over dozens of people had assembled for Sunday morning mass.

According to security sources, flames and smoke blocked an entry to the church, creating a crowd stampede. The majority of those killed in the tragedy were youngsters, with witnesses saying several people attempted to flee by jumping from higher level windows.

According to reports, the church had a nursery for children. Witnesses described how people raced inside the blazing building to save others who were trapped, but were quickly overcome by the heat and smoke.

By Sunday afternoon, fifteen firefighter units had managed to extinguish the blaze in the tight street, while videos from the site circulated online to show damage to the church, including charred wooden furnishings.

Concerned families were waiting outside for word on their missing loved ones.

In a tweet, President Sisi: “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.”

Egypt’s Christians make up around 10% of the country’s population of more than 103 million people.

The fire on Sunday was one of the biggest in recent years in Egypt, where safety standards and fire rules are said to be inadequately followed.

A fire at a textile factory outside Cairo in March of last year killed at least 20 people and wounded 24 more.




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