Al-Azhar, state bodies extend condolences over Giza church fire; psychological support teams for injured dispatched

Ahram Online , MENA , Sunday 14 Aug 2022

Various Egyptian entities offered on Sunday heartfelt condolences to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Orthodox Church over the victims of the massive fire that ripped through Abu Sefein Church in Imbaba district in Giza governorate Sunday, while two psychological teams dispatched to help the wounded get over the tragic event.



Forty-one people died and 14 were injured as the result of the fire that broke out during the Divine Liturgy due to “an electrical malfunction,” according to the interior ministry. The electric fault led to the emission of heavy smoke that was the main cause of casualties, the interior ministry explained.

The prosecution also confirmed in a separate statement that preliminary investigations indicated that the cause of the fire was a short circuit.

All victims have been transferred to Imbaba General Hospital and Al-Agouza Hospital for treatment, according to Health Ministry Spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar.

The Egyptian Red Crescent has dispatched two psychological support teams to the two hospitals, where victims of the fire are receiving treatment, to help them get over the tragic event.

The therapists are highly qualified to offer psychological support for the injured and families of the deceased, said CEO of the Egyptian Red Crescent Dr Ramy El-Nazer in statements to MENA Sunday.

Some volunteers are also distributing personal care kits to families of the victims, El-Nazer noted. 

Al-Azhar and its Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb expressed their sincere condolences and sympathy to Pope Tawadros II and all Christians in Egypt for the victims of the fire, according to a statement.

The grand imam affirmed that Al-Azhar and its scholars and all sheikhs stand by their brothers in this tragic accident and extend their sincere condolences to the families of the victims. El-Tayyeb expressed Al-Azhar's readiness to provide all aspects of support alongside state institutions for the injured and the readiness of Al-Azhar hospitals to receive the injured while providing psychological support to them.

From his side, Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafy El-Gebaly condoled with Pope Tawadros II for the victims of the fire, extending the house’s condolences to the Egyptian people and families of the deceased in the tragic accident.

Moreover, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) offered condolences to Pope Tawadros II, lauding the state's quick response to this tragic incident and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's directives to take all necessary measure and offer immediate healthcare to the injured.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi extended condolences to Pope Tawadros II in a phone call, affirming that all state institutions are providing the required support to contain the effects of the tragic incident, said Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.

The SCMR stressed that El-Sisi's directives reflects the attention the state pays to all Egyptians in times of need, which showed the tolerance and citizenship Egyptians are enjoying.

In a statement, Head of the Evangelical Community in Egypt Andrea Zaki also extended his condolences to the victims' families, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly affirmed the government’s full support to the families of the victims and is following up on efforts 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 Prosecutor-General 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.

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