Egypt Orthodox church fire caused by 'short circuit in power generator': prosecution

Egypt Orthodox church fire caused by 'short circuit in power generator': prosecution
A fire in a Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt’s Giza province during Sunday mass which claimed the lives of at least 41 people was caused by a short circuit in a power generator, according to the prosecutor-general.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
15 August, 2022
Preliminary findings indicated the fire was caused by a short circuit. [Getty]

The major fire at Abi Sefein Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt's Giza province west of the capital Cairo during Sunday mass was caused by "a short circuit in a power generator", the prosecutor-general said in a statement released to the press.

The final count of victims indicated that the fire killed 41 dead, including over a dozen children and a priest. 16 others were injured, including four firefighters, mainly from Asphyxiation, the statement read on Monday.

Prosecutor-general Hamada El-Sawy, accompanied by the coroner, examined the bodies right after the fire was put out and concluded that all died from Asphyxiation.

A total of 14 victims were questioned after receiving treatment at nearby hospitals, while crime scene investigators were assigned to define the reasons behind the incident and how it occurred. Foul play has been ruled out so far.

Last night, funeral services were held amid a heavy media presence at two churches in Giza.

Live Story

Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, prime minister Mostafa Madbouli, Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb and other senior officials paid their respects to the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II.

Social media users and local media outlets declared sympathy with the victims' families, sharing the photo of a five-year-old triplet who lost their lives in the fire and a Muslim man named Mohamed who was injured while saving the lives of five children.

Several Arab states expressed their condolences, including the foreign ministries of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iraq, the spokesman to the Jordanian ministry of foreign affairs and expatriates, Haitham Abul, and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.