Fire at Saudi residential compound kills 10, hundreds injured

National oil company Saudi Aramco said the fire broke out in a basement of the Radium residential compound.

Smoke billows from a fire at a residential complex used by state oil giant Saudi Aramco in Khobar. Saudi Interior Ministry General Directorate of Civil Defense via AP
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Riyadh // At least 10 people were killed and 219 injured in Saudi Arabia on Sunday when a fire broke out at a residential complex housing employees of oil giant Saudi Aramco.

The fire started in the basement of a tower in the eastern city of Khobar, the kingdom’s civil defence said.

Several of the injured were in a “critical condition” and the casualties were from “various nationalities”, it said without giving details.

Photographs published on the civil defence website showed plumes of black smoke rising from the windows of one of the buildings.

Authorities said residents of nearby towers were evacuated as helicopters took part in the firefighting operations.

Firefighting teams “are combing all towers to ensure there are no people” trapped inside, the civil defence said.

“The incident is currently under control and cooling operations are ongoing”, it said in another post on Twitter later in the afternoon.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company in terms of crude production and exports, confirmed the fire at the residential complex and said it was being investigated.

The company says it employs more than 61,000 workers worldwide from 77 countries.

* Agence France-Presse

NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect an updated death toll.