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(Video) Fire in church kills at least 41 and among them were children.


A fire that swept through a Coptic Orthodox church in Cairo has killed atleast 35 people, including at least 10 children. Over 5,000 had gathered for mass at the Martyr Abu Sefein church when a power surge caused an electrical fire in an air conditioning unit. Witnesses describe the congregation leaping out of windows to escape the flames, with attempts to rush in and save those trapped thwarted by heat and smoke. The deaths were attributed to asphyxiation.

Hundreds have paid tribute to the victims in a ceremony in Giza, which included the church’s priest, Father Abdel-Messih Bekhit. Meanwhile, the Giza governor has order aid to be paid to the victims and their families. Many of the survivors, however, have been critical of the response by authorities, singling out the emergency services for their slow response. Ambulances and fire trucks took over an hour to attend the blaze, despite being stationed mere minutes away, a delay that survivors say cost lives.

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