No pilgrims killed in fire at Yemeni Hajj mission [Archives:2006/1011/Front Page]

December 28 2006

By: Yemen Times Staff
SANA'A, Dec 25 ) No Yemeni pilgrims were reported killed in the Yemen Hajj mission during a fire that broke out Monday due to a short-circuit at the Dar Al-Gazaa apartment complex, which housed about 2,200 Yemenis.

The fire that started from the basement and spread to the first floor was quickly put out by the Saudi authorities. Twenty-six Yemenis were reported affected by the fire, most of them suffering from smoke inhalation, including the Minister of Endowments and Guidance, Hamoud Ubad, who is the chairman of Yemen Hajj mission to Mecca.

Sixteen people were taken to the hospital and were in stable condition. The Saudi Press Agency quoted interior ministry spokesman General Mansur Al Turki as saying that “16 pilgrims suffering from smoke inhalation were admitted to hospital, where their condition is stable.

This is the first incident in this year's Hajj session. Last year, 364 pilgrims were killed in a stampede while performing the Jamarat, or stone-throwing, ritual in Mina. Eleven Yemenis were among those killed in the stampede, while the others were from Egypt, Pakistan, India, China and Indonesia. 288 others were injured, including 56 Yemenis. In similar incidents, 118 pilgrims were killed in 1998, and 244 in 2004.