Skip to main content

Twins, triplets among child victims of Cairo church blaze

A fire hit the Abu Sifin church located in the densely populated Imbaba neighbourhood west of the Nile river
— Cairo (AFP)

Mourners in Egypt attended a memorial service Tuesday for victims of a Coptic church fire in Cairo that killed 41 people -- among them many children, including twins and triplets.

The electrical fire on Sunday ripped through the Abu Sifin church in Imbaba, a working class district west of the Nile River, part of Giza governorate in greater Cairo.

At least 10 of those killed during Sunday mass, when families flock to the church and its daycare services, were minors aged under 16, according to a list from just one hospital circulated by local media.

Coptic Bishop Martyros led a "third day" service Tuesday in central Cairo's Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary to commemorate the resurrection of Christ and honour the souls of the dead.

"The entire country is ailing," the bishop told the bereaved, two days after the blaze rocked Egypt's 10-million-strong Coptic community, the Middle East's largest Christian population.

Among those killed were six members of the same family, one mourner, Sandy George, told AFP.

"My aunt Magda and her daughters, Merna and Irina, and Irina's three kids" died of asphyxiation, George said.

Egyptian mourners carry the coffin of a child killed in the Cairo Coptic church fire at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Giza Governorate on August 14, 2022

Irina's children who were killed were the five-year-old twins Barthinia and Mariam and their brother Ibram, aged four.

Also killed were five-year-old triplets Mehrael, Youssef and Filopateer Bassem Amir, according to the hospital list.

Hundreds attended another third-day service in a nearby church, for Father Abd al-Messih Bekheit of the Abu Sifin church, who reportedly died trying to save members of the congregation.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial