Dozens of individuals have been left injured after a massive fire engulfed the police headquarters in Ismailia, a province located in northeastern Egypt.
The fire, which broke out recently, resulted in the injury of at least 38 people, according to a statement by the health ministry. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry, revealed that 12 of the injured victims were treated at the scene, while the remaining 26 were transported to nearby hospitals. All but two of the victims suffered from breathing difficulties.
Unfortunately, the severity of the blaze caused extensive damage to the multi-story police headquarters, as reported by local media outlets. Disturbing videos circulating on various social media platforms showcased the building being consumed by flames, with black smoke billowing into the sky. Witnessing such a devastating sight left many shocked and concerned for the welfare of those present inside the structure.
Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire, leaving a sense of uncertainty and speculation. However, the state-run MENA news agency confirmed that firefighters were successful in extinguishing the flames, preventing the fire from spreading further and causing more harm.
In response to the emergency, the health ministry swiftly mobilised 30 ambulances to the scene, and state media reported that two military planes were en-route to assist in the rescue efforts.
Tragically, deadly fires are a frequent occurrence in Egypt, often exacerbated by the lack of enforcement of fire codes. In August 2022, a fire in a Cairo church resulted in the death of 41 worshippers due to a short circuit.
This incident sparked widespread calls for the improvement of the country’s infrastructure and the response time of the fire brigade.
In March 2021, a tragic fire broke out at a textile factory in the capital, resulting in the loss of at least 20 lives. Similarly, in 2020, two separate hospital fires claimed the lives of 14 individuals.
According to official statistics from Egypt’s national statistics agency, there were a staggering total of 49,300 fires reported in the country in 2022. Tragically, these incidents led to the loss of 203 lives and caused injuries to 855 individuals. It is imperative that comprehensive measures are taken to enhance fire safety and prevention across Egypt.
The incident at the Ismailia police headquarters serves as a grim reminder of the urgent need to prioritise fire safety measures in Egypt. It highlights the importance of implementing and enforcing fire codes, as well as providing necessary training and equipment to emergency responders.