Ripe material for a conspiracy theorist

Before me, on public TV, is unfolding live the fire of the Egyptian Parliament's building.

The Nile News channel is filming the building on fire. Here's what I learn:

10:30pm (Egypt time, GMT+3)

  • the fire started at 5:45pm.
  • it is now 10:30pm and the fire is still going strong inside the building.
  • the explanation for the rapid spread is that the strong wind and the wooden structure did it. the fire might have started as a result of an electrical short-circuit.
  • the street is full of cops: a coalition of various forces including the traffic police, the fire department, an army corps, and members of the civil defense society.
  • it's a 200 year-old building that houses (housed?) the Egyptian Parliament (مجلس الشورى) and the People's Assembly (مجلس الشعب)
  • located on kasr el aini near tahrir square, downtown, that also includes in its neighbourhood other institutions such as various ministries including the Ministry of Interior, some embassies and banks, المجمع, the American University in Cairo.
  • it is announced that the museum section of the People's Assemby has been completely destroyed. It is said to have contained unique historical documents concerning Egyptian history. The announcer bemoans the cultural and historical loss.
  • 13 people injured mostly from the coalition force.
  • fire helicopters supplied by the Egyptian Army are reported to have attempted to put out the fire earlier but failed and left.
  • the smoke is covering the downtown area


  • the main hall of the Parliament hasn't been touched yet
  • at the beginning of the fire, a loud explosion was heard inside the building
  • more fire trucks are being requested, notably from the Petroleum Minister Mr. Sameh Fahmy who can supply special fire-extinguishing foam.
  • the street is devoid of cars: only fire trucks. the crowd is standing outside a perimeter.


  • a new fire has been announced on the roof of the Customs authority (مصلحة الضرائب) building 2 blocks away.
  • the announcer says it's impossible the fire could have crossed that distance to start there, especially that the intervening buildings are not on fire.
  • the new fire is soon announced to be put out.
  • the original fire is spreading to a bank nearby.


after checking up on friends living in the vicinity,
  • the 3 high stories of the Parliament building are still high in flames
  • the announcer repeats the information above
  • President Mubarak is said to follow closely the unfolding of the situation


  • many halls inside the building are safe
  • the historical manuscripts are now reported to be safe
  • Mr. Safwat El Sherif, President of the Egyptian Parliament, states that the assemblies will still convene as per their regular schedule
  • Mr. Fathi Sorour, President of the People's Assembly is on site and assures that whatever has been destroyed will be rebuilt. He adds that all information is, God willing, safe.


  • An aid to the Minister of Interior in police matters, is being interviewed:
    • the fire is announced to be under control.
    • traffic is also under control.
    • only 9 injured firemen, mostly from asphyxia, in good condition
  • A series of officials and council members reassure the population that the rescue force has performed efficiently to control the situation
  • One member announces that an investigation will be made to find the real cause of the fire.

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