41 killed in Egypt church fire
News Desk || risingbd.com
At least 41 worshippers, feared to be mostly children, have been killed after a fire in a church in Egypt where 5,000 people were praying.
Another 45 people are thought to be injured and have been hospitalised in Giza.
The electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for mass at the Abu Sifin church in the Imbaba neighborhood, causing a stampede, security sources said.
The presence of a nursery inside the church prompted fears most of the dead are children, Reuters reported.
'People were gathering on the third and fourth floor, and we saw smoke coming from the second floor. People rushed to go down the stairs and stared falling on top of each other,' said Yasir Munir, a worshipper at the church.
'Then we heard a bang and sparks and fire coming out of the window,' he said, adding that he and his daughter were on the ground floor and able to escape.
Worshippers had gathered to mark the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, one of the holiest dates in the Christian calendar.
The initial death toll was thought to be 35, with AP reporting the higher number of 41 just before midday.
The number injured is estimated to be between 14 and 45.
Egyptian president El-Sisi wrote on Facebook this morning: 'I have directed all relevant state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, immediately, to deal with this incident and its effects and to provide all aspect of healthcare to the injured.
'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.'
There is a nursery inside the church, prompting fears many of the dead may be children. _Agencies