CAIRO: Investigations into the fire that gutted the Shoura Council two weeks ago are still underway, with the People’s Assembly’s Defense and National Security Committee holding meetings to “assess the situation, according to Mahmoud Amer, member of the PA’s Human Rights Committee.
On Monday, the PA’s Defense and National Security Committee held its second successive meeting to discuss the fire that broke out on Aug. 18 in the Shoura Council building, leaving around 13 people injured and one firefighter dead.
The ceilings of each of the Shoura Council’s three-storey building collapsed. The fire, which began on the third floor, spread downwards, engulfing the other two floors over the course of several hours.
“So far we are just discussing facts in order to get a better understanding of what actually happened to the Shoura Council, Amer said.
According to Amer, the committee is currently investigating with police officials and national security guards to evaluate the situation. “However, no government official was asked to attend the investigation sessions, he added.
Firefighting officials reportedly told the attending MPs that they had sent memos about the building’s vulnerability to fire and its weak alarm system, all of which were ignored.
However, official sources at the parliament reassured the public that all of Egypt’s historical documents were safe at the PA’s library, which was not touched by the fire. The sources added that the library was well equipped and consists of high-tech fire alarms and automatic sprinklers.
Parliament speaker Fathi Sorour also assured that copies of all archived material are safe, but nonetheless encouraged the formation of a special committee from the PA that would visit the Shoura archive room and investigate whether some important documents were lost in the fire.