AMMAN: More than a dozen Pakistanis died and at least three others suffered injuries when a fire swept through their makeshift dwellings on a farming estate in Jordan in the early hours of Monday morning.
According to Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs, there were seven children, four women and two men among the victims who died in the fire that broke out in their tent due to a short circuit at around 2am. They were residing in a village near Karameh city, which is 40 kilometres west of Amman near the Dead Sea.
The ministry said that the victims belonged to the Joya family and had migrated to Jordan during the 1970s. They hailed from Sindh’s Dadu district. The head of the family, Ali Sher Joya, survived the incident, the foreign ministry added.
Three Pakistanis were also injured in the incident and were reported to be in stable condition, it said.
The ministry said that the Pakistani embassy was in contact with their relatives who also live in Jordan, while the ambassador and embassy’s senior officials were prepared to provide any assistance required by the family. The Jordanian authorities are also extending full cooperation, the statement added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed profound condolences over the sad demise of 13 Pakistanis in the unfortunate fire incident.
The prime minister extended his sympathies to the bereaved family over the tragic loss and assured his support in this difficult time.
He also expressed gratitude for the cooperation being extended by the Jordanian authorities to the Pakistan Mission in Amman and to the the grief stricken family.
Civil defence spokesman Iyad al-Amre told state TV channel Al-Mamlaka that initial signs showed that it could have been an electrical fire.
Three other people suffering from shock and burns were taken to hospital, rescue officials added.
Another civil defence source said two Pakistani families lived in the corrugated iron sheds that housed immigrants working as agricultural labourers.
They said police had started investigations into the incident.
Al Shuna Al Janobia village sits along the Jordan Valley, south of the confluence of the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers.
According to official figures, around 8,000 Pakistanis live in Jordan and work in the agricultural sector.
Jordan has in recent years seen several deadly incidents, such as fires caused by electrical faults or choking from domestic gas stoves during winters, in refugee camps along the border with Israel and Syria.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019