Blaze kills 12, injures 130 pilgrims in Medina hotel

Published February 8, 2014
Officials did not identify the victims but said 700 pilgrims were staying at the hotel to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. – File Photo courtesy: wikimedia commons
Officials did not identify the victims but said 700 pilgrims were staying at the hotel to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. – File Photo courtesy: wikimedia commons

RIYADH: A fire killed 12 people and injured 130 others in a pilgrim hotel in the Saudi holy city of Medina Saturday, the state-run SPA news agency reported.

Officials did not identify the victims but said around 700 pilgrims were staying at the hotel in Medina, in western Saudi Arabia, to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

However according to a separate report on Egypt's state television station, all killed were Egyptians and the blaze was started by an electrical short circuit.

The fire broke out in the afternoon and was brought under control a few hours later, with survivors were transferred to other hotels in the city.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze.

Once a year Muslims perform the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's holiest city. But year round, they can also undertake the Umrah, or lesser pilgrimage, in Saudi Arabia, also home to Islam's second-holiest site, Medina.

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