CAIRO: Another electrical fire broke out in a church in Egypt on Tuesday, two days after 41 people died in a church blaze in Cairo.
One person was treated for smoke inhalation after the new fire broke out in a closed hall at the Anba Bishoy Church in Minya governorate. There were no fatalities.
“Immediately, the civil protection forces moved and were able to control the fire and put it out without it causing any loss of life,” the Interior Ministry said. Ambulances arrived at the scene within six minutes of receiving an alert at 2:30 p.m. and remained until the the area was deemed safe.
The fire was caused by an electrical short circuit, the ministry said. It came after Sunday’s deadly electrical blaze at the Abu Sefein Coptic Church in the Imbaba district of Cairo.
Mourners attended a memorial service on Tuesday for the 41 victims, at least 10 of whom were children under 16, according to a list from just one hospital.
Coptic Bishop Martyros led a “third day” service in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in central Cairo to honor the souls of the dead. “The entire country is ailing,” the bishop told the bereaved, two days after the blaze devastated Egypt’s 10-million Coptic community, the Middle East’s largest Christian population.
Among those killed were six members of the same family, said one mourner, Sandy George.
“My aunt Magda and her daughters, Merna and Irina, and Irina’s three kids died of asphyxiation,” George said. Irina’s children who were killed were five-year-old twins Barthinia and Mariam and their brother Ibram, aged four.
Also killed were five-year-old triplets Mehrael, Youssef and Filopateer Bassem Amir, according to the hospital list.
Hundreds attended another third-day service in a nearby church for Father Abd Al-Messih Bekheit of the Abu Sefein Church, who died trying to save members of the congregation.