Fire at Cairo garment factory kills at least 20

Cause of the blaze in a four-storey building in Obour is under investigation

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A fire ripped through a garment factory in the Egyptian capital on Thursday, killing at least 20 people and injuring 24, said officials.

A government statement did not say what caused the fire in the four-storey factory in the Obour area, part of Greater Cairo. Fifteen fire engines brought the fire under control, it added. The injured were taken to hospitals in Cairo and the Nile Delta province of Sharqiyah.

The fire sent up a huge grey cloud that hung over the town of Obour for hours after the fire was put out.

Video clips posted online purported to show a large section of the factory reduced to a charred skeleton.

A technical committee made up of experts was created to determine the cause of the fire and assess the possible structural damage suffered by nearby buildings.

Egypt has had a series of fires in recent years, as shoddy buildings have been constructed without the proper safety standards.

Local media reports said the 20 people who died in the fire included six women.

Last month, a fire in an unlicensed shoe warehouse in the capital's twin city Giza engulfed a 13-storey building overlooking a major highway. The building was evacuated and no casualties were reported.

In 2020, 17 people were injured when a large fire broke out next to a busy Cairo highway as a leak from an oil pipeline was set ablaze by passing cars.