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Massive fire in Ishraq Al-Madina Hotel, 15 pilgrims killed
Sunday February 9, 2014 10:34 AM, Agencies

At least 15 people, all pilgrims to the holdy Muslim city from different parts of the world, were killed and 130 injured Saturday when a fire broke out in a hotel in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Madina, state-run media reported.

Ishraq al Madina Hotel
[People are seen on the ledges of the hotel with eye witnesses say some people jumped. (Arab News Photo)]

The fire occurred at 2.30 p.m. at the hotel located in the central area of the holy city, Xinhua quoted Medina district authorities as saying in a statement.

"More than 700 people of different nationalities were staying at the hotel. Preliminary indications suggest that those killed died of suffocation," the statement added.

The blaze, however, was brought under control at around 5.00 p.m, authorities added.

According to Arab News, Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman has been following up on the incident.

An investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire has been launched, sources said. Preliminary reports indicate that the fire occurred as a result of a short circuit during maintenance work.

Thirty of the injured were treated on the spot, while others were sent to King Fahd Hospital and the Ansar Hospital. According to one report, Ansar received four bodies and 91 injured.

Most pilgrims died of suffocation, the statement said. There were about 700 guests in the hotel at the time the fire broke out. Authorities evacuated guests and closed off streets leading to the hotel on Sitteen Street.

Some pilgrims who were trapped inside the hotel climbed to the roof of the building for safety.

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