Reports have confirmed that a Nigerian was among the 10 people that died in a fire that engulfed parts of a residential compound in the Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich east, a Saudi official said. The Nigerian has not been identified.
The inferno began early Sunday in a sprawling, multistory housing complex in the city of Khobar that accommodates workers for state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
Col. Ali bin Saad al-Qahtani, a civil defense spokesman for the kingdom’s Eastern Province, provided the update in comments carried by the official Saudi Press Agency early Monday.
He said a total of 10 people died and 259 were injured in the blaze. The civil defense directorate previously said 11 people were killed. Apart from the Nigerian, three Canadians, a Pakistani were also among those killed in the blaze.
Al-Qahtani did not provide the nationalities of the other five people killed.
Of those injured, 179 have left the hospital after receiving treatment.
A preliminary investigation suggested a short circuit in an electrical transformer in the building’s basement sparked the blaze, which quickly spread through 130 cars parked in the basement, he said.
The complex, known as Radium, is a gated community of eight six-story buildings with a total of 486 residential units as well as swimming pools and other leisure facilities, according to Aramco’s website.