Fire kills dozens on maternity ward and I.C. unit of Saudi hospital

At the Jazan general hospital in Saudi Arabia, at least 31 people have been killed and more than 100 injured, as a fire broke out on the intensive care unit and the maternity ward. Jazan, is the capital of the Jizan region in southern Saudi Arabia, one of the country’s poorest areas near the Yemeni border. There are few details on the victims or the cause behind the blaze, but the Saudi civil defense agency said the fire had been extinguished and an investigation was under way. “We could hear the women screaming,” said a witness speaking to al-Ekhbariya television, adding that the cause appeared to have been electrical and that the fire had swept through the hospital in just three minutes. Several people complained on social media that the infrastructure in the region, and its hospitals specifically, were in a dire state — with one Twitter user writing that the province “had been neglected by the state for years.” The region has also been plagued by missile attacks from Iran-backed rebels in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shia Houthi insurgents. The fire is the latest in a series of disasters in public places in the country, most notably the horrific deadly stampede at the haj pilgrimage that killed hundreds of worshippers.

Read the full story at VICE and The Guardian.

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