Al-Azhar and its Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb expressed their sincere condolences and sympathy to Pope Tawadros II and all Christians in Egypt for the victims of the fire, according to a statement, according to Ahram.
He affirmed that Al-Azhar and its scholars and all sheikhs stand by their brothers in this tragic accident and extend their sincere condolences to the families of the victims. El-Tayyeb expressed Al-Azhar's readiness to provide all aspects of support alongside state institutions for the injured and the readiness of Al-Azhar hospitals to receive the injured while providing psychological support to them.
An electrical fire swept through an Egyptian Coptic Christian church during Mass on Sunday, causing a stampede and killing at least 41 people, most of them children and many suffering from smoke inhalation.
The blaze started just before 9 a.m. in the Abu Sifin church in the city of Giza where about up to 1,000 people had gathered, Reuters reported.
The fire blocked an entrance to the church, causing the stampede, the two sources said, adding that most of those killed were children.
"People were gathering on the third and fourth floor, and we saw smoke coming from the second floor. People rushed to go down the stairs and started falling on top of each other," said worshipper Yasir Munir.
"Then we heard a bang and sparks and fire coming out of the window," he said, saying he and his daughter were on the ground floor and able to escape
Electrical fires are not rare in Egypt. In late 2020, a fire at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients killed at least seven people.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry said a forensic examination showed that the fire began in the second floor air conditioning as a result of an electrical malfunction.
Smoke inhalation was the main cause of death, it said. Families of those who died will receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,220), according to a cabinet statement.
Giza, Egypt's second-largest city, lies just across the Nile from Cairo.
A funeral was held for those killed in the fire late on Sunday at a cemetery in Giza.