At least 41 killed church fire in horror Sunday service blaze

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AT least 41 people including kids have died after a huge blaze erupted at a church during a service.

It’s feared many of the victims are children and the death toll could rise as some 45 people have also been left injured after flames tore through the Abu Seifeng Church in Egypt.

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The fire broke out at a church in Giza, Egypt, during a serviceCredit: AJA Egypt

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At least 41 people have died and another 45 injuredCredit: AJA Egypt

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Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli visiting the church after the blazeCredit: AFP

The congregation had just finished prayer when the blaze broke out – causing a stampede as panicked church-goers rushed to evacuate.

Thick black smoke quickly filled the church, and witnesses said several trapped congregants jumped from upper floors in a desperate bid to escape.

Dozens of ambulances were rushed to the scene in Imbaba, Giza, as firefighters battled to extinguish the raging flames.

At least 41 people have died, Egypt’s Coptic Church confirmed

One distraught witness, Abu Bishoy, said: “Suffocation, suffocation, all of them dead.”

According to local media, many of the casualties are thought to be children as there is a nursery inside the church.

One congregant, Emad Hanna, said the church includes two places used as a daycare for children, and that a worker managed to get many of the youngsters out.

He said: “We went upstairs and found people dead.

“And we started to see from outside that the smoke was getting bigger, and people want to jump from the upper floor. We found the children.”

Shocking pictures show the horrific aftermath of the blaze, with the inside of the church completely burnt.

Yasir Munir, a worshipper at the church, told of the chaotic scenes as people frantically tried to get out.

He said: “People were gathering on the third and fourth floor, and we saw smoke coming from the second floor.

“People rushed to go down the stairs and stared falling on top of each other.

“Then we heard a bang and sparks and fire coming out of the window.”

He and his daughter were on the ground floor and managed to escape uninjured.

Cops said the fire broke out at about 9am local time in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the building as a result of an electrical fault.

The country’s health minister blamed the smoke and a stampede as people attempted to flee the fire for causing the fatalities.

‘TRAGIC ACCIDENT’

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called the incident a “tragic accident” and said he was “closely following development”.

He said: “I have directed all relevant state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, immediately, to deal with this incident and its effects and to provide all aspects of healthcare to the injured.

“My sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who moved to their Lord’s neighbor in a house from his homes where he is worshipped.”

The country’s chief prosecutor, Hamada el-Sawy, ordered a probe into the incident and sent a team of investigators to the church.

Pope Tawadros II, pope of the Coptic Church, offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

He said: “We are following with sadness the tragic incident that occurred this morning in the Church of the Great Martyr Mercurios Abu Sefein.

“We are in constant contact with the local leaders of the governorate, the Ministry of Health and all officials.

“May the hand of God have mercy on us all.”

Emergency services said they managed to put out the blaze and the prime minister and other senior government officials arrived to inspect the site.

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Witnesses said several trapped congregants jumped from upper floors in a desperate bid to escapeCredit: Getty

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Cops said a fire broke out in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the building as a result of an electrical faultCredit: Getty

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