According to Egyptian-based media, the powerful explosion near the medical facility was caused by the detonation of an oxygen cylinder that was inside of a car that collided with another vehicle in the centre of the city.
The vehicle reportedly belonged to one of the staffers at the institute.
"Sixteen people were killed, 21 were injured [...] during an accident at the Cancer Institute", a spokesperson for the Egyptian Ministry Health said. According to the country's interior ministry, the accident was caused by an oxygen cylinder explosion.
Egypt's health ministry said later on Monday that 17 people have been killed and 32 have been injured in the explosion.
Local media reported earlier on Monday that at least 8 people had been killed due to the explosion.
The explosion reportedly caused a blaze and dozens of fire trucks were sent to the scene to extinguish the flames. Emergency services are reportedly still working at the scene of the accident.
Egypt's public prosecutor is investigating the cause of the incident, sources told Reuters, but there was reportedly no official statement issued indicating that the explosion was an alleged attack.