Back to the complete issue
Monday, 15 August 2022

Tragic fire kills dozens in Imbaba church

At least 41 people were killed yesterday when a fire broke out during mass at the Abu Sefein church in Imbaba, the Coptic Church said in a statement. The Health Ministry said that 55 people were taken to hospital for treatment. Most of those killed in the blaze were children, Reuters reported citing two sources.

The fire was caused by a short circuit in an A/C unit on the second floor of the church, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The blaze blocked an entrance to the church, triggering a stampede among the hundreds of worshippers attending mass, security sources told Reuters. Prosecutors have launched an investigation into the incident, the Public Prosecution said.

Families of the deceased will get financial compensation from the state: Each family who lost a loved one in the fire will receive immediate compensation of EGP 100k, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in TV comments reported by Youm7, while the families of the injured will receive up to EGP 20k, he added. Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El Kabbaj earlier stated that families will also receive an additional EGP 50k in compensation from civil society organizations and Al-Azhar. The seat of Sunni knowledge said yesterday that it would immediately make donations to the families of victims and that its hospitals were on standby to receive the injured.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is “closely following the developments of the tragic accident,” he said in a statement. “I directed all concerned state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, and to immediately deal with this accident and its effects.” El Sisi and Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly both called the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, to offer their condolences, according to official statements by Ittihadiya and the cabinet.

The Armed Forces’ engineering authority will restore and renovate the church, the Coptic Church said in a separate statement.

Condolences poured in: The World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union Delegation to Egypt, and UNICEF Egypt all expressed their condolences to the victims’ families, along with embassies of various countries to Egypt (US, Russia, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Switzerland). Leaders of Arab countries, including Qatar, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, also sent El Sisi their condolences.

The story leads the conversation on Egypt in the international press this morning: Associated Press | Reuters | AFP | Wall Street Journal | Bloomberg | New York Times | BBC | CNN | The Guardian | Euronews | Sky News.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.