At least 41 dead in Cairo church fire

At least 41 people were killed after a huge fire erupted at a church in Cairo during morning prayers on Sunday, health authorities and the Coptic Orthodox Church said.

Egypt's health ministry said 55 people were also taken to hospitals for treatment after being injured in the blaze

which engulfed the Coptic Orthodox Church of Abou Seifain in the working-class district of Imbaba. The fire erupted at 9 a.m. Cairo time.

The interior ministry, which oversees the Civil Protection Authority, said the fire "broke out in an air-conditioner on the second floor of the church building,

which includes a number of classrooms, as a result of an electrical fault.

The ministry, which said the fire had been brought under control, attributed the deaths to smoke inhalation. It said five policemen were injured.

Horrific online images and videos showed what appeared to be people wounded by the flames screaming in pain

"I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident ... and I have directed all concerned state institutions to take all necessary measures