Indians were among 11 foreign workers who were killed today in Saudi Arabia when a fire ripped through a windowless house they shared, media reports said. The 11 workers killed and six injured in the blaze in southern Najran city were all from India and Bangladesh, the Saudi civil defence was quoted as saying by the Arab News. “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. The workers, who belonged to a construction company, were living near a gold market area in Faisaliah district.
The fire broke out due to short circuit in an old air- conditioning unit, according to primary information. Among the six injured workers, four were from India, Saudi Gazette reported. When contacted, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh told PTI that it has no details about the incident.
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 the role of field teams of the Civil Defence and the Municipality, reported the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
He said that these entities must stop companies from renting out buildings which are unfit for living. The oil-rich kingdom is home to nine million foreign workers, many of them from South Asia.