Makkah hotel evacuated after fire

Published August 21, 2017

A hotel in Makkah, where around 2 million Muslims have gathered to perform Haj, was evacuated on Monday after a fire broke out, the Saudi Civil Defence Directorate said.

Civil defence spokesman Major Nayef Al-Sharif said no casualties were reported following the fire, which was sparked by a faulty air conditioning unit on the eighth floor of a hotel in the Azaziyah district of Makkah.

Arab News quoted Sharif saying, “flames were coming from a faulty air conditioning unit on the eighth floor of the 15-story hotel, which was inhabited by 600 pilgrims from Turkey and Yemen.”

All 600 residents, most of whom had come from Turkey and Yemen for Haj, were evacuated and have since returned to the hotel, Sharif said.

Last month, 11 migrant labourers had died of asphyxiation in Saudi Arabia in a fire that engulfed the windowless house they shared, Saudi authorities said.

Last week, a fire destroyed three buildings in a traditional section of Jeddah, listed as a Unesco world heritage site, the Saudi civil defence said.

In 2015, at least 717 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at Mina, outside Makkah, during Haj.

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