Blaze in Saudi prison kills three inmates

Blaze in Saudi prison kills three inmates
2 min read
12 December, 2019
Riyadh's Al-Malaz prison was engulfed by a fire on Thursday, killing three inmates and injuring dozens more.
A new train station in Jeddah was engulfed by flames in September [Getty]
A fire broke out at a prison facility in Riyadh early on Thursday morning, claiming the lives of three detainees and injuring 21 others, Saudi state media reported.

The inmates were evacuated and the injured were rushed to hospital after the fire broke out at dawn in Al-Malaz prison, its authorities said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Firefighting "specialists with the help of civil defence were able to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading", the statement said.

"As a result [of the fire] three deaths occurred and 21 were injured."

It did not state the cause of the fire, but said an investigation into it had been launched.

Comment: Foreign assets? Saudi Arabia introduces golden visas for expats

Accidental fires are common across the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sometimes because of lax enforcement of safety regulations.

Al-Malaz prison has held a number of high-profile women's rights activists.

In September, five people were injured in a fire that broke out at a new high-speed train station in the western city of Jeddah, according to state television, with huge palls of smoke seen rising into the air. 

The station serves the main Haramain High Speed Rail system, which transports passengers between Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest sites.

Domestic fires killed at least 90 people injured 1,364 more in the Gulf kingdom in 2018, according to its national statistics.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected