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The New Arab

Thirteen Pakistanis killed in Jordan farm blaze

The Jordan Valley has abundant fertile land for crop growth [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 December, 2019

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Thirteen Pakistanis, including eight children, were killed in a blaze that broke out shortly after midnight on Monday in Karamah in the Jordan Valley.
Thirteen Pakistanis, including eight children, died early Monday when a blaze tore through their corrugated metal home on a farming estate in the Jordan Valley, authorities said.

Three were also injured by the fire, Jordan's civil defence announced, and have been taken to hospital to be treated for shock and burns. 

Rescue services said "13 people died and three others were injured when fire broke out in a corrugated metal house" on a farm in South Shona, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Amman.

The makeshift building was home to two Pakistani families working as agricultural labourers, they said in a statement.

Fire service spokesman Iyad al-Omari told state television channel Al-Mamlaka that eight children, four women and a man had died in the blaze at around 2am, which was likely caused by an electrical fault.

The Jordan Valley is host to thousands of foreign labourers. They live in substandard conditions in private farms, according to Reuters.

A police report has been opened into the incident.

The valley has abundant fertile land for the growing of vegetable and fruit crops. 

There are 3,205 registered migrant workers from Pakistan in Jordan, according to 2016 figures from the Ministry of Labour.

Read also: Jordanian prince secretly meets Israeli president amid 'all-time low' in relations

More than half of them are employed in the agricultural sector and comprise 2 percent of Jordan's agricultural workers.

The number of Pakistanis in Jordan is believed to be 7,714, according to a department of statistics census in 2015.

But some rights groups estimate the number to be between 20 to 30 thousand, The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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