The death toll of the Abu Sefein Church fire stands at 41, including 18 children, and 14 injured. Hundreds of mourners gathered late Sunday afternoon for the pre-burial prayers in churches near the Waraq neighborhood.
The fire occurred in the Abu Sefein Church in Imababa (Giza) as worshippers gathered for morning mass on Sunday, 14 August.
Egypt’s public prosecution released a statement with preliminary investigation results, stating that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction. The electrical short circuit is believed to have produced a significant amount of smoke, which was inhaled by the majority of the victims, as per Egypt’s chief prosecutor Hamda el-Sawy.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi offered his condolences to the families of the victims, and has directed the Armed Forces Engineering Authority to repair the Abu Sefein Church. According to the spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark Diocese discussed reconstruction plans with Chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, Hesham El Swefy, in a phone call.
The Grand Azhar Imam, Ahmed al-Tayeb, offered his condolences to Pope Tawadros II and all Christians in Egypt. He has also given orders to Al-Azhar University hospitals to treat all victims of the fire. In coordination with civil society organizations, Al-Azhar will pay additional compensation of EGP 50,000 (USD 2613) to the affected families.
Similarly, the Egyptian Red Crescent dispatched two psychological support teams to the hospitals where the victims are receiving treatment. The CEO of the Egyptian Red Crescent Dr Ramy El-Nazer explained in a statement that the therapists are highly qualified to offer the needed psychological support for the injured and families of the deceased.
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