Blaze in Coptic pilgrimage site burns 220 tents

A huge fire broke out in a Coptic pilgrimage site south of Luxor late on Thursday, destroying 220 tents as well as several pilgrims’ furniture and possessions. No deaths or injuries were reported.

The fire continued to early riday morning, when it was brought under control by security forces.

Thousands of Copts travel to Mount Rozayqat each year to celebrate the birthday of Saint Mar Gerges, a celebration that lasts from 10 November to 17 November.

Deacon Attalah Abdel Shahid said that criminal motives are not suspected in the incident.

Last year's celebrations witnessed a similar fire, which burned down 200 tents.

After police brought the fire under control, Central Security Forces were deployed to secure the monastery and comb the surrounding areas.

Police determined that the fire started after a burner exploded in one of the tents, then quickly spread to the surrounding tents with the help of the night wind.

 Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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