At least two officers and three members of the civil protection services were injured in response to the fire at Abu Sefein Church, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a Facebook post.
The statement added that the fire started around 9 a.m. local time and was caused by a power failure in an air conditioning unit on the second floor of the church.
Most of the deaths and injuries were caused by smoke inside church classrooms after the power outage, the Home Office said.
“We are in constant contact with local authorities and the Ministry of Health,” Coptic Church leader Pope Tawadros II said, according to the church spokesman.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has tweeted his condolences to the victims of the Abu Sefein Church fire.
“I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who moved alongside their Lord in one of the places of worship,” El Sisi said.
Egypt’s president said he was closely following the development of the “tragic accident” and had ordered state agencies and institutions to take the necessary measures to immediately deal with the tragedy and provide care for the injured.