CAIRO: Dozens have been injured after a huge fire ripped through a police station in the Egyptian city of Ismailia early Monday.
The blaze, which started at around 3 a.m (GMT), was brought under control by about 5.20 a.m. (GMT) according to witnesses and local media.
The health ministry said at least 38 people were injured.
Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, a spokesperson for the health ministry, said 12 of the injured were treated at the site, while 26 others were taken to hospital, many were suffering from smoke inhalation.
Seven of the injured were treated and discharged.
Unverified videos posted on social media showed the city’s security directorate engulfed in flames.
Two witnesses said fire engines who earlier arrived at the scene appeared to be struggling to contain the blaze. It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.
Local civil defense sources said parts of the building had collapsed under the fire. The cause for the blaze was not immediately known.
Deadly fires are a common hazard in Egypt, where many buildings are dilapidated and poorly maintained.
In August 2022, a fire caused by a short circuit killed 41 worshippers in a Cairo church, prompting calls to improve the country’s infrastructure and the response time of the fire brigade.
In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory in the capital, while in 2020, two hospital fires killed fourteen people.