Egypt’s Civil Protection Authority is attempting to put out a fire that erupted after a gas pipeline exploded in the upscale satellite Cairo neighbourhood of New Cairo on Saturday, with one person dead and 10 injured.
Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told Egyptian satellite TV channel Extra News that the deceased sustained heavy burns to his body and died at the scene before being transported to hospital.
Megahed added that those injured in the explosion suffered burns of varying degrees.
The explosion took place at the start of Road 90, the main thoroughfare and entryway to New Cairo.
Interior minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar has visited the explosion site with the head of Cairo’s security directorate and other senior security officials.
General Tarek Attia, a communication aide to the interior minister, told the TV channel that a loader operator working at a construction site in the area accidentally broke the pipe.
The loader driver and some others suspected of being responsible for the breach are currently in police custody, Attia added.
Head of the Civil Protection Authority Magdy El-Shalaqany told state news agency MENA that the gas has been cut off from other pipes in the area to ensure that no more fires erupt.
Security forces have closed all roads leading to New Cairo until the situation is contained.
The explosion and subsequent closure of roads has led to major traffic jams on the Ring Road, a highway that connects New Cairo with the rest of the capital.
Gas pipeline explodes in Egypt’s New Cairo. (Photo by Nadeen Shaker)