A Reuters news report said that a fire that broke during a Sunday Mass in an Egyptian Coptic church resulted in the deaths of 41 people and injuries on 45 others.

How the Fire Occurred

According to the article, the fire at Abu Sifin church on Sunday led to a stampede that killed at least 41, many of whom were children.

The report revealed that at least 1,000 people were attending the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass when the blaze started due to electrical problems.

The Coptic church is located in Giza, just outside the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The article indicated that the church entrance became inaccessible because of the fire, which led people to panic and caused the stampede.

According to two eyewitness accounts, people trying to exit the church reportedly walked on the small children, which practically crushed them to death.

Yasir Munir, who was among last Sunday Mass' audience, said worshippers on the church's third and fourth floors saw smoke emanating from the second floor. 

The scene caused people to head downstairs and led to the deadly stampede.

Munir said that they were lucky to have been on the ground floor of the building, which allowed them quick exit while the fire was raging.

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Eyewitness Accounts

Maher Muhammad, who lost a sister to the blaze, said he left her at the church once the prayers were over.

Muhammad disclosed that he was only 10 meters away when he heard screams and saw smoke billowing from the building.

He said that he saw her sister's body when he went inside after firefighters contained the fire. 

Muhammad revealed that he saw many charred remains, including those of children.

Another eyewitness and one of the survivors said he tried to save elderly people and children as the fire raged on.

He remains at a local hospital for treatment of his injuries, the report said.

Results of Initial Investigation

Following the incident, Egypt's Interior Ministry disclosed the results of their initial probe into the tragic fire.

Government investigators said forensic evidence led them to conclude that an electrical failure in a second-floor A/C unit caused the blaze.

The article said that Egypt is no stranger to fires caused by electrical origin.

The report said seven individuals died at a COVID facility when a fire broke out due to electrical malfunction.

The Interior Ministry explained that many fire deaths are from smoke inhalation, just like in the Coptic church fire.

The Egyptian president immediately condoled the victim's families in a tweet.

"I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims that have passed on to be with the Lord in one of his houses of worship," President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wrote, according to the Reuters report.

The article said that the Egyptian government would provide financial aid to the relatives of those who died in the incident on President al-Sisi's orders.

The report noted that families of fatalities are set to receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds from the Egyptian authorities.

The news outlet also said the fire victims were given a Sunday funeral at a Giza cemetery.

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