At least 2 suffocate to death from overcrowding outside Coptic cathedral

At least two Copts died while attempting to have a final look at the late Pope Shenouda III’s body, which is seated on a ceremonial throne.

Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the two persons died of suffocation from overcrowding in front of the Coptic cathedral in the Abbasseya district of Cairo.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of Coptic Christians queued at the cathedral where Shenouda’s body is displayed for people to pay final respects.

The CTV Coptic Channel reported that three people died because of overcrowding.

The cathedral had to close its doors after the incident, and a priest went out to calm the thousands of people waiting outside, CTV reported.

Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted Bishop Younis, the assistant bishop and patriarchal secretary at the Patriarchal Residence, as saying that the two people who died were an old man and an old woman and their bodies are being held in the residence until they are removed to a hospital.

The pope was initially laid in a coffin and later seated on a ceremonial throne wearing gold and red embroidered religious vestments, a golden mitre on his head and holding a gold-topped staff.

The funeral is going to be held on Tuesday, and burial is expected to take place at the Wadi al-Natrun monastery in the desert northwest of Cairo, where the late pope had requested to be buried.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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