Fire kills eleven at oil worker housing in Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia

Monday, August 31, 2015

A fire in the eastern Saudi city of Alkhobar tore through a housing complex for oil workers yesterday, killing eleven, according to civil officials.

The Radium complex is rented by oil firm Aramco for their employees. According to nearby resident Mohammed Siddique the fire broke out early in the morning. Siddique says the building contains locals, as well as Westerners and Asians. The cause is unclear but the civil defence ministry tweeted “Cars and furniture caught fire in the basement of one of the towers”.

Over 200 people were injured. Firefighters scaled the burning tower on ladders, and helicopters were on-scene. Other towers in the complex were evacuated. Thick smoke from the blaze complicated rescue efforts.

Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser said the firm is “deeply saddened to learn of the fatalities and injuries. We offer heartfelt condolences to the families. Our immediate priority is to provide full support to those affected by this tragic incident.” Aramco, which produces and exports more crude oil than any competitor worldwide, say the fire is under investigation.

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