Fire forces 1,500 to leave Makkah hotel

MAKKAH: A fire forced some 1,500 people from their hotel in Makkah on Monday as hundreds of thousands gathered for Haj, the civil defence department said.

Four Yemeni pilgrims suffered minor injuries following the pre-dawn fire in the 15-storey hotel, state news agency SPA quoted the department as saying.

A preliminary investigation found a short circuit in a room to have caused the fire, it said.

The hotel’s guests are among close to two million people from around the world expected for the pilgrimage.

On Thursday about 1,000 Asian pilgrims were evacuated from their high-rise hotel in Makkah when a fire broke out. Two Indonesian pilgrims were injured.

The pilgrimage has been almost incident-free for the past decade but 108 people died earlier this month when a construction crane fell on Makkah’s Grand Mosque.

Source: AFP