Fire engulfs police facility in Egypt's Ismailia, 25 hurt

A view of efforts to douse a fire that broke out at a police facility, in Ismailia, Egypt, October 2, 2023 in this screen grab obtained from social media video. Mimi Eroq/via REUTERS

CAIRO (Reuters) -A huge fire erupted at a police facility in the Egyptian Suez Canal city of Ismailia early on Monday, injuring at least 25 people before firefighters contained the blaze after several hours, emergency services and media reported.

Videos posted on social media showed the city's security directorate engulfed in flames. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

Two witnesses told Reuters that firefighters initially appeared to struggle to tackle the blaze. More than three hours later, state television said it had been contained.

At least 25 people were injured in a preliminary count of casualties, the Egyptian Ambulance Authority said.

Civil defence sources said parts of the building had collapsed in the fire.

Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik said a committee of advisers would be formed to look into the causes of the fire and review the construction safety of the building "to restore its efficiency as soon as possible", according to his ministry.

The Ismailia incident was the latest major fire to hit Egypt. A church blaze killed at least 41 people in August 2022.

(Reporting by Hatem Maher, Yusri Mohamed and Tala Ramadan; editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Christian Schmollinger and Deborah Kyvrikosaios)

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