Written by Staff Writer
09 Feb, 2014 | 7:24 am
At least 15 people have died and around 130 were injured when a fire broke out in a hotel packed with Muslim pilgrims in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, the local government said.
“At 2:33 pm this afternoon a fire occurred at a hotel located east of the central region, home to about 700 of pilgrims of different nationalities,” the Medina Governate said in a statement.
The al-Bawaba Nayouz news website quoted a Red Crescent official as saying the dead were all Egyptian.
“The fire resulted in the death of 15 … caused by fainting, choking, bleeding and cardiac arrest and breathing. We also treated 30 cases of suffocation due to the fire,” Mohammed Mahmoud Kheyat, spokesman for the Saudi Red Crescent in Medina, told the website.
A Medina civil defense department official, Colonel Khaled al-Juhani, told the al-Youm newspaper that more than 110 security personnel were battling to control the blaze, which was still burning at 5:40pm local time.
He said the nationalities of the victims were unknown, but that a statement would be released later.
An employee of the Egyptian embassy in Jeddah, Ahmad Zaki, told the Youm al-Sabaa newspaper that there were “tens of Egyptians” among the injured and killed.
Zaki said maintenance work at the hotel led to an electrical fire.
Medina governor, Prince Faisal bin Salman, said the government would look into the incident.
Medina is a major religious destination for Muslims. The city is the burial site of the Prophet Mohammad and is Islam’s second holiest city after Mecca.
Pic: Arab news
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