Tens injured in fires in Egypt's Wadi El-Natroun Saturday

Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Jun 2013

Egypt's health ministry says the number injured in fires in desert part of the Beheira governorate Saturday reached 47, with similar fires damaging tens of homes in other areas

Forty seven people suffered suffocation from smoke inhilation and minor injuries in a huge fire that broke out in the Western Desert village of Emam Malek Saturday afternoon, a health ministry official told state news agency MENA Saturday.

The fire swept through tens of homes in the area of Wadi El-Natroun. Dozens of cattle were killed, but no human deaths were reported.

The injured were rushed to Wadi El-Natroun Hospital and the village medical centre.

Outraged villagers blocked the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road late in the day to protest what they saw as negligence on the part of the government.

Protesters set tires on fire bringing traffic on the major highway connecting the capital to Egypt's second largest city to a standstill for hours.

Army and civil fire-fighting trucks were mobilised to extinguish the fires in Wadi El-Natroun. The fire was reportedly caused by a short circuit attributed to a dust storm.

In a move to help the affected, Egypt's armed forces provided 4,000 food aid boxes to villagers Sunday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

Beheira governorate is to pay LE5,000 ($700) to each affected in temporary aid, said governor Mokhtar Al-Hamalawy.

Dead cattle and destroyed properties will also be compensated.

A wave of fires spread elsewhere in Egypt Saturday, reportedly attributed to sharply rising temperatures and high winds that hit the country.

In Alexandria, a large-scale fire broke out in 70 homes in Mahmoud Shaltout Village in Al-Ameriya area, AFP reported. Dozens suffered effects of suffocation.

In Egypt's Upper Egypt Sohag ‎governorate, civil fire-fighting forces managed to contain a similar fire that spread in 14 homes in the Manshaea area, AFP added.

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