At least 21 people, including several children, died and many others were injured on Thursday night, when a huge fire engulfed a residential building in the Jabaliya refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza and other sources reported.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said in a brief statement that scores of casualties were evacuated from the building and were taken to the Indonesian Public Hospital in the nearby town of Beit Lahiya.
According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, the fire broke out in a residential apartment and spread to the rest of the building, adding that the number of casualties is likely to increase.
Preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Interior and National Security said that an amount of benzene was stored in large quantities inside the apartment, which led to the outbreak of the fire and a large number of victims.
Palestine Chronicle correspondent Mahmoud Ajjour said that journalists were denied access to the scene as Gaza’s Civil Defense workers are desperately trying to recover the bodies and evacuate the injured.
(All Photos: Gaza’s Civil Defense Department)