Life returned to normal in Armant City in southern Luxor after 220 tents caught fire after a stove exploded during the Moulid of Mar Girgis, a large Coptic festival celebrating St. George.
The festivities resumed while cleanup at the site of the fire continued. No casualties were reported in the fire.
Luxor Governor Ezzat Saad declared a state of emergency to provide all necessary services to visitors until the event is over.
Police tightened security ahead of the festival in which approximately 1 million Copts and thousands of Muslims are expected to participate. Police secured Armant’s entries and its exits and tightened inspection procedures. Nearby mountainous areas were combed for potential security threats.
The festival comes after Bishop Tawadros, a trained pharmacist who headed a medicine factory, was chosen last week as the 118th Pope to lead the Coptic Orthodox Church on the same day he celebrated his 60th birthday.
Edited translation from DPA