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Fire at Cairo Coptic church kills 41, including 15 children

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

During morning services on Sunday, a fire blasted through a crowded Coptic Orthodox church in the capital of Egypt, immediately filling the building with heavy black smoke and killing 41 worshipers, including at least 15 children.

According to witnesses, a number of trapped members of the Martyr Abu Sefein church tried to flee the raging flames by jumping from the top stories. A distressed witness, Abu Bishoy, who only provided a partial name, cried out, "Suffocation, suffocation, all of them dead."

Four police officers who were helping with the rescue effort were among the sixteen injured.

It was not immediately clear what started the fire at the church in the working-class Imbaba district. A police statement stated that the initial investigation suggested an electrical short-circuit.

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