Egypt fire: At least 41 killed and dozens injured as blaze rips through church

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People and policemen stand near the scene where a deadly fire broke out at the Abu Sifin church in Giza, Egypt (REUTERS)
People and policemen stand near the scene where a deadly fire broke out at the Abu Sifin church in Giza, Egypt (REUTERS)

A church fire in Egypt has killed at least 41 people and left dozens injured.

Several ambulances were rushed to the scene in Giza as firefighters battled to extinguish the raging flames.

According to local media, many of the victims are thought to be children as there is a nursery inside the church.

The Egyptian health ministry said deaths from the blaze, which occurred in the Abu Sifin church, are still being counted.

The electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for mass at the church in the Imbaba neighborhood, causing a stampede, Reuters sources said.

Egypt president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he is closely following the developments of the incident in Giza, the second largest city in the African nation.

“I closely follow the developments of the painful accident in Al-Munira Church in Giza Governorate, and all the institutions of the concerned state have directed to take all necessary measures, and immediately to deal with this accident and its effects and to provide all aspects of healthcare to the injured,” Mr al-Sisi said.

He added: “My sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who moved to their Lord's neighbor in a house from his homes where he is worshipped.”

The president’s office added that Mr al-Sisi has been in contact with the Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to offer his condolences.

Egypt's Christians account for some 10 per cent of the nation's 90 million people and have long complained of discrimination by the nation's Muslim majority.