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Dozens laid to rest after deadly church fire in Egypt

STORY: Dozens of victims of a church fire in Egypt killed during Sunday mass were laid to rest hours later.

Over 40 lives were lost in the blaze.

Sources say they were mostly children.

Relatives of the fallen attended a mass funeral in Egypt's second-largest city of Giza.

Coffins were passed through the church, so that families could grieve and pray for the deceased.

About a thousand people had been gathered for Sunday mass at the Abu Sifin Church, when the fire began.

Sources said the fire blocked an entrance to the church, causing a stampede.

One of the injured, who only gave his name as Kirollos, said they saved who they could.

“The fourth floor of the church was on fire. There were children in the nursery and there was a mass. We are fasting these days and soon there will be Eid. I don’t know what happened, if it was an electrical fire, but there were kids and elderly people. We saved whom we could save. We looked up, and saw a lot of black fumes in the air.”

The Interior Ministry said in a statement, a forensic examination showed the fire began in the second floor air conditioning, as a result of an electrical malfunction.

It also said that smoke inhalation was the main cause of death.

It added that the victims' families would receive about $5,000 each in compensation.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also offered his condolences in a tweet.

Electrical fires are not uncommon in Egypt.

In late 2020, at least seven people were killed in a hospital fire.