Fire breaks out in Egyptian parliament, 13 injured

August 20th, 2008 - 3:20 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Aug 20 (DPA) A major fire erupted Tuesday in the building housing Egypt’s Shura Council or upper house of parliament, injuring at least 13 people, security sources said.The fire spread from the third floor of the building down to the second floor, security sources told DPA. Wind and the wood from the ceiling help fuel the flames.

Among the injured were fire workers who suffered smoke inhalation and some workers in the building who suffered fractures while trying to escape the fire.

A couple of military helicopters arrived to the fire scene, but failed to control the flames. At least 35 fire engines battled the blaze.

Emergency services officials fear the old three-storey building in downtown Cairo could collapse after the disintegration of the building’s internal walls and the total destruction of its third-floor ceiling.

Officials said the cause of the fire was still not known, though some believe it was due to an electrical fault. The more than a century old building was poorly equipped to handle fire.

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