CAIRO: A massive fire that erupted in an old Cairo district Monday has left 88 injured and three dead, according to the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Khaled Megahed.
In a TV statement, Megahed said that it was difficult to identify the three dead bodies because they were charred.
The fire, which lasted for at least 18 hours, caused huge losses to plastics warehouses and shops in the area. Store owners estimate millions of pounds worth of damages.
Cairo governorate announced that it will pay a maximum of 5,000 EGP ($562) compensation to each person affected by the fire, Youm7 quoted Deputy Cairo governor Mohamed Ayman as saying.
The fire began early Monday at the Andalus Hotel in Ataba district and then spread to four other buildings. Flammable materials and plastics were said to have briefly re-ignited the fire again late on Monday.
A hashtag was launched on social media calling for financial aid for the residents of Roweay St. and the owners of the damaged stores, who were seen throwing their products from the windows during the fire.
Dozens were reported suffering suffocation after inhaling smoke; at least 60 ambulance vehicles were dispatched to the scene of the fire.
The prosecution is currently investigating the reason behind the fire, however Youm7 quoted eyewitnesses as citing a “short circuit” as the cause.
The civil protection forces have received a slew of fire reports at apartments and trucks in Cairo and Giza over the past 48 hours, according to Youm7. In Bahariya Oasis two palm tree and olive farms caught fire, which damaged most trees; some 20 fire vehicles were dispatched to the site.