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National Theater Blaze
National Theater Blaze
Attorney General Judge Abdul Majeed Mahmoud had decided, Saturday night, to assign a team of downtown Cairo prosecutors to inspect the impacts of the blaze. Mahmoud also decided to assign the Criminal Evidence Department and the Criminal Lab to examine the fire scene to determine its cause as well as its starting and ending points. Further, Mahmoud decided to form a technical committee to examine the damages caused by the fire.
Sunday, September 28,2008 05:09
IkhwanWeb
A fire broke out in the showroom of the National Theater in downtown Cairo on Saturday night, September 27, in a very quiet time when Muslims had been getting ready for iftar (meal in which Muslims end their day"s fast during the month of Ramadan).

A source at the General Administration for Civil Defense and Fire Fighting said, “the fire started around 5:35 p.m. burning the theater curtain and lasting for about two hours. There were no injuries except for a few suffocation cases.”

The source added that more than 30 fire trucks had headed to the burning theater at al-"Ataba square, where the Main Administration for Civil Protection is also located.

The source suspects that the fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit followed by an explosion of some air conditioners inside the theater hall which led to the collapse of some decorations and theater facades overlooking al-"Ataba square.

A source from the Official Middle East News Agency said that fire, via wind, extended to two billboards on the sixth and seventh floors in the building facing the theater, but was immediately put out. The fire had also extended to wastes lying on the roof of a nearby building but was also put out.
Another source told Reuters that “the fire was put out and that we are now in the cooling stage which could continue depending on the site’s nature including wood and decorations.”

The National Theater is considered to be one of the symbols of Egyptian culture since it began its activity in the 50s. It had since presented world masterpieces and was reopened in 1986.

Attorney General Judge Abdul Majeed Mahmoud had decided, Saturday night, to assign a team of downtown Cairo prosecutors to inspect the impacts of the blaze. Mahmoud also decided to assign the Criminal Evidence Department and the Criminal Lab to examine the fire scene to determine its cause as well as its starting and ending points. Further, Mahmoud decided to form a technical committee to examine the damages caused by the fire.

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni said that the fire was due to an electric spark coming from the electric switch box in the theater and that when one of the workers attempted to deal with it, it exploded, leading to the main curtain"s catching on fire.  However, the fire trucks arrived and dealt with the situation after minutes of the flare as the theater was equipped with the latest alarm equipments which automatically call fire services in the instance of a fire break out. 

Farouk Hosni added that self-firefighting equipment at the theater dealt instantly with the fire even before the fire trucks arrival which effectively saved the theater and helped to limit the amount of losses. These equipments continued even after the firefighters dealt with the fire and contained it. 

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