Egyptian authorities say six teenage girls and at least 19 other people have been killed in a fire at a younger offenders’ institute in the country’s capital, Cairo.
Officials said the fire followed a fistfight 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.
But other sources say it was started by an electrical fault in one of the cells. The blaze was put out soon after.
AFP quotes a security official as saying the head of the facility, which houses around 200 girls aged between 14 and 17, was immediately detained.
The news agency also reports that prosecutors have opened an investigation into the cause of the fire by questioning survivors.
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.