Medinah hotel fire kills 15 killed in Saudi Arabia
This scene shows rescue workers removing bodies from the hotel after the fire was under control. [alalam]
At least 15 people were killed and 130 others were wounded in a fire that broke out at a hotel housing Muslim pilgrims in the holy city of Madinah in western Saudi Arabia on Saturday, local authorities said.
The blaze started at Ishraq al-Madinah Hotel at about 2 p.m., the Madinah Governorate said in a statement. The victims are from different nationalities, including some from Turkey and Egypt.
Adel al-Alfi, the Egyptian consul general in the western Saudi city of Jiddah, said five Egyptians , including two children were among the victims.
While authorities said they are still investigating the source of the blaze, they said many of the victims died of suffocation.
A nearby hotel was evacuated as a precaution as firefighters battled the blaze.
Madinah is a major religious tourist destination for Muslims. The city is the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad and is Islam's second holiest city after Mecca.