​15 pilgrims die in Madinah fire

 09 Feb 2014 - 4:42


Onlookers take pictures of a helicopter evacuating people from a hotel after a fire broke out in Madinah yesterday.

RIYADH: A fire at a hotel in the Saudi holy city of Madinah yesterday killed 15 pilgrims and injured 130, state-run news agency SPA reported.
Officials quoted by SPA did not identify the victims but said around 700 pilgrims had been staying at the hotel in the western city of Madinah to perform the Umrah, or minor, pilgrimage.
Television stations in Egypt said Egyptians were among those who perished, and foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said Cairo was “still trying to confirm the numbers” of nationals who died.
The fire broke out in the afternoon and was brought under control a few hours later, with survivors moved to other hotels.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze.
The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani sent  cables of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abduaziz on the death of the pilgrims.