A fire at a police headquarters in north-eastern Egypt has injured at least 38 people, according to the country's health ministry.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Monday morning and ripped through the multistory building located in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia, according to ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar.

12 of the injured were treated on site, while 26 others were taken to hospital, all but two suffering from breathing difficulties. According to the spokesperson, 7 of the injured were treated and discharged.

The fire severely damaged the building and took several hours for firefighters to extinguish. The Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik said an investigation into the cause of the fire will be opened.

The fire is just the latest deadly fire to occur in the country where safety standards are often lax. In August 2022, a fire at a church in Cairo caused by a short circuit killed 41 worshippers.

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