Egypt officials: Fire at juvenile detention kills 6 children

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CAIRO (AP) — A fire broke out Thursday at a juvenile detention center in Egypt's capital of Cairo, killing at least six children, officials said.

The officials said the fire followed a fist-fight between two children in one ward at the facility, located in the city's Marj district. More than two dozen other children were injured, they said.

Police are holding those running the facility as prosecutors investigate the cause of the fire, the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. Initial investigation blamed an electric short-circuit for the blaze, according to state-run media.

The state-run newspaper Akhbar el-Yom reported that the children were not able to flee the fire because the ward was locked.

Safety standards and fire regulations are poorly enforced in Egypt and have been linked to many deaths.

In March, a fire at a garment factory near Cairo killed at least 20 people and injured 24 more.

There were around 52,000 fire incidents in Egypt in 2020, resulting in 199 deaths, compared to over 50,660 accidents in 2019 that killed 252 people, according to the country’s official statistics agency.

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