At least Eleven Indian labourers died of asphyxiation in Saudi Arabia in a fire that engulfed the windowless house they shared, Saudi authorities said Wednesday. Of the 11 persons who died, four are from UP , 3 from Kerala and one each from Bihar and Tamil Nadu.
Six people are injured out of which 5 are Indians. The injured are being treated in the hospital. One of the injured workers is from Bangladesh.
The Consul General of India in Jeddah Md Noor Rahman Shaikh confirmed that a team of Indian Consulate officials are on way to Najran and should be reaching in sometime.
Najran is about 900 kms from Jeddah.
Efforts are being made to establish the identity of the two other workers. He also said that the five injured workers are being treated in the hospital. The Arab News reported that the region’s Governor has ordered an investigation.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in New Delhi that officials of Indian consulate in Jeddah are rushing to Najran following the incident. She said in a tweet that she was aware of the fire tragedy in Najran in which 10 Indian nationals were killed, while six injured are in the hospital.
The Minister’s response came after a woman sought the External Affairs minister’s help to bring back the mortal remains of one of those killed in the incident.
An estimated nine million foreigners work in Saudi Arabia, many of them from South Asia. Rights groups complain that foreign workers often suffer poor conditions and are unable to switch jobs or leave the country without the permission of their employers.