A fire which gutted through an Egyptian furniture factory in Obour City on the outskirts of Cairo on Tuesday has killed 24 workers, a health ministry official told Ahram Arabic news website.

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24 others were injured in the fire, health ministry official in Qalubiya governorate, north of the capital, added Mohamed Lashin.

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Some of those badly injured died before ambulances could reach hospitals, Lashin added.

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The ministry of health had earlier reported 19 fatalities.

The cause of the fire, that has not been fully contained yet, is still unclear.