After Iraq Wedding Fire, Dozens Injured In Blaze At Police Headquarters In Egypt
At least 38 people have sustained injuries of varying severities after a huge fire ripped through the multistory police headquarters in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia in Egypt early Monday, according to the health ministry.
The blaze started at around 3 am GMT and was brought under control by about 5:20 am GMT, according to witnesses and local media. Two witnesses said fire engines that earlier arrived at the scene appeared to be struggling to contain the flames.
According to Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, a spokesperson for the health ministry, 12 of the injured received treatment at the site, while 26 others were rushed to hospital over harm from smoke inhalation. Seven of the victims were treated and subsequently discharged.
Massive Fires Becoming A Common Hazard In Egypt
Unverified videos uploaded on social media showed the city’s security directorate engulfed in flames. Local civil defence sources said parts of the building had collapsed under the fire. The cause for the blaze wasn’t immediately determined.
Nonetheless, massive fires seem to have become a common hazard in Egypt, where a number of buildings are dilapidated and poorly maintained. A similar incident in August 2022 killed 41 worshippers in a Cairo church, prompting calls to improve the country’s infrastructure.
There have also been calls to improve the response time of the fire brigade. While at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory in the capital in March 2021, two hospital fires in 2020 killed 14 people. The recent incident in Egypt follows a deadly fire in Iraq.
Results Of Government Probe Into Iraq Wedding Fire
The results of a government investigation into the Iraq disaster were announced at a news conference on Sunday, blaming the fire that killed atleast 107 people in a Christian wedding in Hamdaniya on “gross negligence” and lack of safety measures.
“The fire was accidental and unintentional and occured due to gross negligence,” the investigation findings said. “Using flammable decoration helped the fire to spread quickly and transformed the hall to a fireball,” said Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari.
The probe also accused the owner of the reception hall and three other staff members of allowing 900 people into the venue when it was designed for a maximum of 400. Rescue teams struggled to reach the people trapped inside as exit doors were few and small, Shammari added.
At least 150 people were injured in the incident. The interior ministry said the investigation panel had proposed the government should offer financial assistance to families of the dead and injured. The probe also recommended legal action to be taken against local officials.