At least 21 Palestinians, including seven children, were killed and more than 30 others injured in a massive fire at a residential building in the northern Gaza Strip. This information was given by security and medical sources. The news agency Xinhua quoted the director of the agency, Salah Abu Laila, as saying that the condition of some of the injured was serious. The death toll in the fire that broke out in the Tal-Jatar area of Jabaliya refugee camp on Thursday is expected to increase.
The Palestinian Civil Defense Force announced in a statement that it had sent rescue teams and several security personnel to the scene. Eyewitnesses said that civil defense personnel tried for hours to control the fire.
The interior ministry in Gaza said in a statement that preliminary investigations indicated that the fire was caused by a large amount of fuel kept inside the building. Local sources and eyewitnesses said that the residential building belonged to the Abu Rayah family. At the time of the accident, a family member was celebrating the return of a long time from Egypt.