A combined photo of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (left) and Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St Mark's Diocese
In a phone call with the pope, El-Sisi affirmed that all state institutions are providing the required support to contain the effects of the tragic incident, said Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.
Preliminary investigations said the high number of injuries in the fire was due to the presence of a nursery inside the Abu Sefein Church in the northern Egyptian governorate.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said in a statement that as many as 55 people, including the injured and dead, had been moved to hospitals via 30 ambulances after the massive fire, adding that the number of deaths were still “being counted.”
The casualties were moved to Imbaba General Hospital and El-Agouza Hospital, said Abdel-Ghaffar, adding that measures are being taken to deal with the dead and injured.
The state of preparedness was raised in hospitals across Giza and Cairo, Abdel-Ghaffar said, noting that the two hospitals, where the cases were moved, have bags of all blood types and the required emergency medications.
The incident took place on 8:57am, said the minister, with the first ambulance arriving on scene two minutes later.
Security authorities in Giza announced confiscating surveillance cameras on buildings and shops overlooking the church to determine the causes of the fire.
On his Twitter, El-Sisi said he is following up closely on the developments of the tragic incident at the church in the Al-Mounira area of Giza.
“I directed all concerned state agencies and institutions to take all the required measures immediately to deal with the incident and its impacts and provide all forms of health care to the injured,” El-Sisi said.
“I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who went to be with their Lord in one of the houses in which he is worshipped,” the president added.
From his side, Pope Tawadros extended condolences to the victims of the fire, saying he is following up on the incident with local authorities in the governorate, the health ministry and other officials.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly affirmed the government’s full support to the families of the victims and is following up to provide all forms of care to the injured as per El-Sisi’s directives, a cabinet statement read.
Madbouly visited the victims receiving medical treatment in the two hospitals accompanied by Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj, and Minister of Local Development Hisham Amna.
Additionally, Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik and the General Prosecutor Hamada El-Sawy arrived at the site of the blaze to inspect the location of the fire.
In TV remarks, Madbouly said immediate compensation worth EGP 100,000 will be granted to each of the families of each deceased person and up to EGP 20,000 will be granted to the families of the injured based on the degree of the injury.
This is in addition to multiple forms of support that would be provided to the families of the victims, during the coming period, he said.
Also, Egypt’s top Islamic authority Al-Azhar and civil society organisations will pay additional compensation of EGP 50,000 to the families of the victims, El-Qabbaj said earlier.