40 injured in major fire at Egypt's largest convention centre

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Mar 2015

Initial investigations showed an electrical short circuit caused the huge fire

Smoke billows from Cairo's International Convention Centre (CICC) in Cairo's Nasr City district March 4, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Forty people were injured – ten of whom have been hospitalised – as a huge fire blazed through various buildings in the Cairo International Convention Centre on Wednesday in Nasr City east of Cairo.

Most of the injured suffered from smoke inhalation and wounds at Egypt's largest convention centre, said Egypt's Health Ministry.

Initial investigations showed an electrical short circuit caused the huge fire, said a spokesman for Egypt's interior ministry later on Wednesday.

The metal plate responsible for the central air conditioner malfunctioned, spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif told Al-Ahram Arabic news website, stating that the fire spread from this part of the building and resulted in the blaze.

The fire lasted for four continuous hours, Abdel-Latif added.

The fire has been completely contained and measures have being taken to ensure it would not re-ignite, reported Egyptian state TV quoting police sources.

Huge plumes of smoke rose out of one of the buildings in the sprawling centre which hosts many of the country's major conferences. Witnesses said the smoke could be seen from a few kilometers distance.

The armed forces sent 25 fire trucks and six helicopters to transfer 30 tonnes of water to put out the fire.

A state TV correspondent said the fire had reached the main conference hall before firefighters contained it. The fire reportedly originated in one of the centre's administrative buildings.

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