CAIRO: A massive fire broke out on Monday at a police facility in northeastern Egypt, injuring at least 38 people before firefighters could extinguish the blaze several hours later, authorities said.

Officers from the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Suez Canal Authority also took part in fire and rescue operations at the Ismailia Security Directorate headquarters, northeast of Cairo.

Cooling operations for the building are underway, officials said.

The Ministry of Health and Population has increased the preparedness of hospitals in Ismailia Governorate to receive injured people.

Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a ministry spokesperson, said that 50 fully equipped ambulances were sent to the site.

The spokesperson said all emergency medications and blood groups were available in the governorate’s hospitals.

Abdel Ghaffar said ambulances provided emergency treatment to 12 injured people at the site.

The official said 26 other injured people — 24 cases of suffocation and two cases of burns — were transferred to Ismailia Medical Complex.

Seven injured people were discharged from the medical complex after recovering.

Egypt’s Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik inspected the site of the blaze.

He directed a committee of consultants to determine the cause of the fire and review the structural safety of the building to restore it to working condition as soon as possible.

The minister demanded that all aspects of care be provided to the injured until their complete recovery.

A team from the Ismailia Public Prosecution visited the site to conduct inspections and question witnesses, as well as those injured in hospitals.

An official statement on the fire that broke out in the Ismailia Security Directorate building has yet to be issued.

Ismailia Gov. Sherif Fahmy Bishara visited the injured and said that full medical care should be provided to them.