WORKERS DIE IN BLAZE
MANAMA – Three Bangladeshis were killed after a fire broke out in a residential building in Mukharqa yesterday.
The men died of smoke inhalation in their sleep as the blaze quickly spread through the two-storey building, forcing close to 80 tenants to flee for their lives.
Two men were injured and required hospital treatment as a result of the blaze, which broke out at 2.38am and gutted the building.
Two of the victims were named as Musharraf Hussain, 40, and Abu Jalal, 36, but the body of the third has still to be identified.
Civil Defence officials confirmed the fire, which started on the first floor, was caused by “safety negligence”.
Investigators at the scene said a major tragedy was averted and the death toll could have been much higher.
“If they had been stuck inside for even couple of minutes it would have been a disaster,” said a security source.
Diplomats confirmed workers living in the building had packed up all their belongings and were spending their last night in the property, which was about to be renovated.
An investigation has been launched by the Labour Ministry and the minister, Jameel Humaidan, offered condolences to the families of the victims.
The gutted building is located in an area of the Manama suq known locally as Bengali Gali, which has several labour camps, some of which are dilapidated yet still house thousands of low income workers of different nationalities.
The scene of the fire is also close to the area where 13 Bangladeshis died in a fire that broke out in a rundown three-storey building on January 11 last year.
A total of 135 people lived in the building, which has since been demolished.
In 2006, 16 workers died during a fire at a labour camp in Gudaibiya, making it one of the deadliest in Bahrain’s history.