RIYADH/ABU DHABI - Fifteen people died and around 130 were injured when a fire broke out in a hotel packed with pilgrims in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina on Saturday, the state news agency said.
All 15 were Egyptians and the blaze was started by an electrical short circuit, according to a separate report on Egypt’s state television station.
It took rescue teams more than two hours to put out the fire and a nearby hotel was evacuated as a precautionary measure, Saudi Arabia’s state news agency reported.
Around 700 pilgrims were staying in the hotel at the time, it added. Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze.
Once a year Muslims perform the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city. But year round, they can also undertake the Umrah in Saudi Arabia, also home to Islam’s second-holiest site, Medina.