10 Indians among 11 killed in fire at Najran in Saudi Arabia

Eleven migrant workers, including ten from India,  died of asphyxiation when a fire engulfed the  windowless house they were staying in Najran in southern Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Wednesday.
“Firefighters put out the blaze in an old house lacking windows for ventilation. Eleven people died of asphyxiation, and six others were injured,” local media reports quoted Najran Civil Defense spokesman Capt. Abdullah Al-Farie as saying.
“We received information regarding the fire through a security patrol around 4 A.M. and rushed to the spot,” he said.
The reports said the victims were all from India and Bangladesh and were working for a construction company. They were fast asleep when the fire broke out.
At least six others, including four Indians, suffered injuries in the blaze, the reports said.
Nine of the Indians who died in the incident had been identified. Four of them were from Uttar Pradesh, three from Kerala and one each from Tamil Nadu and Bihar, they said.
The Consul General of India in Jeddah, Mr. Mohammad Noor Rahman Sheikh, has despatched a team of officials to Najran to assist the victims.
"I am aware of the fire tragedy in Najran in which we have lost 10 Indian nationals and six injured are in the hospital," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
She said this in response to a message from a woman who said the husband of her household help had died in the fire and sought her help to bring his body back to India.
"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," she added.
Prince Jalawi Bin Abdulaziz, Emir of Najran, has ordered a probe into the fire by a team consisting of officials from Civil Defense, Najran Municipality, Ministry of Labour and Social Development.
According to the reports, the fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit in an old air-conditioning unit in the house.


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