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Dozens die in Cairo church fire

Mourners at a memorial service for victims of a church fire on Sunday in Cairo Associated Press/Photo by Tarek Wajeh

Dozens die in Cairo church fire

Flames tore through a crowded Coptic Orthodox church in Cairo as worshipers gathered Sunday morning. Forty-one people, including at least 15 children, died in the fire. Witnesses said black smoke filled the church, and some people threw themselves out of upper windows to escape. The cause of the fire was not immediately confirmed, though police mentioned an electrical short circuit as a possibility.

Why did so many die? Some suffocated in the thick smoke, and others were killed in a stampede as people tried to squeeze out of the building and onto the crowded street. The church is in one of the most densely populated areas in Cairo.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Onize Ohikere’s report on terror attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is WORLD’s executive editor for news. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kan.


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