Dozens injured in huge fire near Suez Canal

The fire, the origin of which is not yet known, broke out at police headquarters in Ismailia.



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A fire at the headquarters of the Security Directorate, in Ismailiya (Egypt), October 2, 2023. (AFP)

A fire broke out before dawn on Monday October 2 at the police headquarters in Ismailia, Egypt, on the western bank of the Suez Canal. On “26 injured” evacuated to a hospital, according to the Ministry of Health, 24 were suffering “of asphyxiation” and two from burns. Twelve other injured people were treated at the scene. The fire, the origin of which is not yet known, was brought under control in the morning.

The Health Ministry deployed 50 ambulances to the scene, as well as military emergency services including two planes, according to state media. When the first emergency services arrived, the fire had engulfed the entire Security Directorate building. Images posted online show immense flames devouring the many floors of the imposing stone building, occupied by soldiers.

Authorities did not say how many police officers and detainees were inside the building. The Minister of the Interior ordered an investigation into the causes of the fire, as well as a “review of safety standards” of the building. Fires, often caused by short circuits, are not uncommon in Egypt. In August 2022, an accidental fire killed 41 worshipers in a church stuck in an alley in a working-class neighborhood of Cairo, triggering a heated controversy over infrastructure and the response time of firefighters.

source site-29