Huge fire erupted resulting from a blast caused by a tragic accident outside the National Cancer Institute downtown Cairo - Hussien Talal/ Egypt Today
CAIRO – 5 August 2019: A total of 20 people were killed and 48 others were injured, according to the official reports, in a car blast late on Sunday near the Cairo-University affiliated National Cancer Institute in Cairo's busy area of Kasr al-Ainy.
Initially, authorities cited a deadly multi-vehicle crash as the cause of the blast, but technical explanation had been vague. The Interior Ministry later said it found that one of the cars involved in the car accident was carrying explosives.
The ministry charged Hasm terrorist group, designated by the state as the armed wing of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, with causing the blast to happen.
A statement by the ministry said that Hasm group were preparing the aforementioned car to take part in another terrorist attack later. The statement didn’t reveal further details regarding the group's planned attack.
Hasm is an Islamist militant group operating in Egypt. In Arabic, the word “Hasm” means decisiveness. It also stands for Ḥarakat Sawa'd Miṣr (Arms of Egypt Movement). The name of Hasm has been associated with nearly every terrorist attack in Egypt during the last year.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in a tweet on Monday called the incident “coward and terrorist.” He affirmed that the Egyptian administration is determined to confront and fight terrorism by all means, in order to eliminate it completely.
Sisi expressed his condolences to the Egyptians, and especially the families of the victims, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadiq had earlier assigned South Cairo Prosecution to pursue investigation into the crash.
The Attorney General ordered a team of prosecutors to head to the crash site and to carry out required examination to stand on the causes of the accident.
Cairo University said the staff and the patients inside the Institute were safe.
“All the casualties were pedestrians, while the patients and the workers at the Cancer institute were not affected,” according to a press statement released by the university's media office.
“The accident took place near the administrative building of the hospital far away from the patients’ room,” said the statement, adding that an emergency room and operations room were formed led by the Cairo University president to follow up the developments of the accident.
Cancer Institute director Hatem Abu el-Kassim denied earlier rumors about explosion of an oxygen cylinder inside the hospital, ensuring that the blast took place outside the institute, and that the casualties were pedestrians who were close to the crash.
All the injured were transferred to Nasser Institute, Mounira, and Kasr al-Aini hospitals, said Health Ministry Spokesperson Khaled Megahed. He added that a total of 42 ambulance vehicles were deployed to the crash site immediately to transfer injuries to receive needed treatment, and that there was a bag of human remains.