Fire kills 20 people in Cairo clothing factory

Firefighters try to extinguish a blaze at a furniture factory in Obour, east of Cairo, in July 2015 [File: Mohammed Asad/AP]

At least 20 people were killed and 24 others injured on Thursday in a clothing factory fire on the eastern outskirts of the Egyptian capital.

The cause of the blaze, which ripped through the four-storey plant in Obour, an outlying district of the greater Cairo area, was not immediately known, according to a statement released by the government.

Fifteen fire trucks were dispatched to extinguish the huge blaze as smoke billowed over the area. Ambulances were ferrying the casualties to nearby hospitals.

The state prosecutor has tasked a team with investigating the fire, medical sources told AFP news agency.

Egypt has had a string of fires in recent years, as shoddy buildings have been constructed without safety standards amid a security vacuum following its 2011 revolution.

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. Residents were evacuated but no casualties were reported.

In 2020, a major fire broke out next to a busy Cairo highway as a leak from an oil pipeline set ablaze by passing cars left 17 people hurt.

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