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Saudi Arabia: 10 Indians killed, 6 injured in house fire

Jeddah: At least 10 Indians killed and six others injured today after a major fire broke through a windowless house in Saudi Arabia’s Najran. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister said, Indian consulate in Jeddah were heading towards Najran after the incident.

“I am aware of the fire tragedy in Najran in which we have lost 10 Indian nationals and six injured are in the hospital,” she said in a tweet.

Her response came after a woman, Vidya S, sought the External Affairs Minister’s help to bring back the mortal remains of one of those killed in the incident, reports DC.

“I have spoken to Consul General Jeddah. Najran is 900 Kms from Jeddah. Our staff is rushing by the first flight available. Our Consul General is in touch with the Governor of Najran. He is updating me on regular basis,” Swaraj said.

Apart from the 10 Indians, another person was killed whose identity was not immediately known.
“Firefighters put out a blaze in an old house lacking windows for ventilation. Eleven people died of asphyxiation, and six others were injured,” in the southern province of Najran, the civil defence said in a tweet.

Indian workers worked in a construction company and were living near a gold market area in Faisaliah district. A short-circuit in an old air-conditioning unit resulted in the major fire, according to primary information.

Among the six injured workers, four were from India, Saudi Gazette reported.
Najran Governor Prince Jluwi bin Abdelaziz ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the fire incident. His office will be supervising the committee, which will include representatives from the Civil Defence, Municipality and the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, the report said.

Prince Jluwi expressed concern at the absence of control over foreign workers’ residences and said that these companies must be stopped from renting out buildings which are unfit for living.