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3 deaths and 137 injured among crowds at Coptic cathedral

The deaths and injuries occurred as crowds of thousands gathered to see the body of the late pope

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Mar 2012
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Hisham Shiha, Deputy Minister of Health, has stated that there were 3 deaths and 137 injuries due to stampedes among crowds massing at the St Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya in Cairo.

Crowds have been gathering since Sunday, as Coptic Christians attempt to take a last look at the late Pope Shenouda III, whose body is lying in state at the cathedral.

Sixty-five injured have been transported to Dar Al-Shefaa, Demerdash, Zahraa Gemaei and Helmeya military hospitals to receive treatment. The remaining 72 cases were dealt with through on-the-spot treatment in Cathedral Square, with most suffering from breathing difficulties.

Shiha said that all of the cases referred to hospitals have been discharged after improving, with the exception of ten patients who are still receiving treatment; one in Dar Al-Shefaa, five in Demerdash, two in Zahraa Gamaei, and one case in Helmeya military hospital.

He stated that the ministry of health sent 30 ambulances equipped with medical teams and medical supplies, as well as two mobile clinics and a pharmaceutical unit to secure the vicinity of cathedral.

Thousands of Coptic Christians continue to pay their respects to Pope Shenouda in Abbasiya on Monday morning, despite a Church announcement that the cathedral gates would close following the deaths and injuries.

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