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UN Chief Offers Condolences over Victims of Egypt Church Fire

UN Chief Offers Condolences over Victims of Egypt Church Fire

Tuesday, 16 August, 2022 - 07:00
Police officers and workers are seen at the site of the Abu Sifin church under scaffolds, a day after a fire killed over 40 people and injured at least 14 others, in the densely populated neighborhood of Imbaba, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (AP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his condolences to the families of victims of Sunday's fire that ripped through a Coptic Christian church during mass and killed more than 40 people and injured another 16, including children.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the tragic fire that occurred at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Giza, Egypt, killing and injuring dozens of worshipers, including children,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement.

Guterres expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, government and people of Egypt, and wished a swift recovery to those injured.

The blaze, blamed on an electrical fault, hit the Abu Sifin church in densely populated Imbaba, a working class district west of the Nile River, part of Giza governorate in greater Cairo.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II said in a brief telephone interview with a Christian religious channel on Sunday that he was following up with the relevant agencies on all matters related to the accident.

“We are in constant contact with the local leaders of Giza, the Ministry of Health and all officials. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims, we pray from the injured,” the Pope said.

The death toll stood at 41 and injuries at 16, including two police officers and two personnel, the prosecution said.

Authorities said the accident was caused by an electrical short circuit in a power generator.

A probe has since been launched.

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