24 Dead in Saudi Hospital Fire

24 Dead  in Saudi Hospital Fire24 Dead  in Saudi Hospital Fire

A fire tore through the intensive care unit and the maternity ward of a Saudi hospital before dawn on Thursday, killing at least 24 people and injuring 123. Two of the dead were security guards and one was a child, officials said. The fire broke out at the general hospital in the southwestern port city of Jazan, the capital of the Jizan region, one of Saudi Arabia’s poorest areas, Reuters reported. Government-controlled al-Ekhbariya television interviewed a witness who said the cause of the fire seemed to be electrical, and that it took only three minutes to sweep through the hospital. “We could hear the women screaming,” said the man, who was not named. Criticism of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is frowned upon, but a string of comments by Twitter users suggested the fire was the result of official negligence and criticized a series of accidents at public facilities in the kingdom this year.