No less than 38 people have been injured in a huge fire that erupted at the Egyptian Police Headquarters in the city of Ismailia on Monday morning, officials of the Health Ministry have confirmed.
Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, who informed reporters at the scene of the disaster, said the blaze ripped through the multistory police headquarters in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia.
According to Abdel-Ghaffar, there were no fatalities immediately reported but the building was fully staffed with policemen when the fire broke out before dawn.
“By the time the first rescue services arrived, the blaze had engulfed the entire building of the Ismailia Security Directorate,” he said.
“26 of the wounded were transferred to a local hospital, 24 had suffered from asphyxiation and two from burns,” Abdel-Ghaffar said.
He added that the health ministry have deployed 50 ambulances to the scene, which were joined by military emergency services including two planes, according to local media.
Eyewitnesses said flames raged through the multi-storey building that was completely obscured by a massive cloud of smoke before the blaze was brought under control.
“By dawn, all that remained of the headquarters was a charred shell as emergency services carried out cooling procedures to prevent another fire from breaking out,” an eyewitness wrote on social media as other users shared footage of the fire which showed individuals trapped inside, calling for help from the windows.
“The cause of the blaze is not yet known and security forces have sealed off the area. Reporters saw rescuers attempting to evacuate those trapped inside, assisted by a crane,” another wrote.
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