Ten people have died in Saudi Arabia as a fire engulfed a carpentry workshop in the capital Riyadh, the Persian Gulf kingdom’s civil defense said.
“The Riyadh civil defense put out a fire that broke out at a carpentry workshop in the Badr district of Riyadh,” the Saudi civil defense said in post on its official Twitter account on Sunday.
According to the report, the overnight fire also left three people injured.
The civil defense added that the victims’ identities are still unknown and no information was given on the cause of the fire.
It also posted photos of what appeared to be an enormous lumber yard engulfed in flames. Firefighters were shown working through the night to extinguish the fire.
Saudi firefighters try to put out the fire the engulfed a carpentry workshop in the capital, Riyadh, overnight Sunday (October 15, 2017).
The blaze comes nearly three months after 11 migrant workers suffocated as a fire engulfed a windowless house they shared in Saudi Arabia’s southern province of Najran.
The July blaze also left six workers injured. The civil defense said back then that the victims were Indian and Bangladeshi nationals.
Millions of poor Asians are working in the Persian Gulf states. Human rights groups say many of the workers suffer exploitation and abuses, including non-payment of wages.
According to latest official figures released in 2015, there are nine million foreigners currently working in Saudi Arabia, many of them South Asians.
Rights groups have urged the Persian Gulf kingdom and other Arab states to end the “kafala” sponsorship system, which forces foreign workers to seek their employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country, a measure rights groups say leaves workers open to exploitation.