EGYPT: Community mourns during funeral services for victims of Coptic Orthodox Church fire that killed 41, many of them children

CAIRO — On Sunday, funeral services were held for the victims of the devastating fire that broke out inside Abu Seif Coptic Orthodox Church in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt, that resulted in the deaths of 41 people, 18 of them children. As the tiny caskets were lifted through the crowd, mourners, overcome with grief, wailed at the tremendous loss.

Earlier in the day, a fire had broken out as people gathered for morning Mass. Ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scene to contain the fire and rescue the injured.

According to officials, the cause of the fire remains unknown, but there is talk about the possibility of an electrical short, in conjunction with the high temperatures in the desert area.

The local authorities have launched an investigation to find out the circumstances of the fire and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed all relevant state institutions to immediately take the necessary measures to deal with the fire and its effects and provide the necessary health care to the injured.