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Fire in a Saudi Arabian oil workers compound kills 11
August 30, 2015, 3:58 pm
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Helicopters hover over a compound in Alkhobar to rescue trapped residents.

A fire swept through an oil workers' residential compound in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, killing 11 people and injuring over 200 others of various nationalities, some critically, the Civil Defence agency said.

Saudi national oil company Saudi Aramco said the cause of the fire which broke out in a basement of the Radium residential compound in Khobar was not known.

"At 05:45 today a fire was reported in the basement of the Radium residential compound in Al Khobar which is leased by Saudi Aramco for its employees," Aramco said in a statement.

The Civil Defence Department said on its Twitter account that at 11 people have died while at least 219 people were injured, some of them seriously.

"Cars and furniture caught fire in the basement of one of the towers, heavy smoke bellowed, obstructing rescue and firefighting operations," the Civil Defence said in a statement. The fire was under control, it said.

Saudi Aramco, which is headquartered in Dhahran and has more than 55,000 employees, many of them expatriates, has not identified the nationalities of its employees but it is believed that the compound houses expatriates.

According to Aramco's website, the Radium Residential Complex consists of eight six storey buildings and comprises 486 units.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter with its entire output pumped by Aramco.

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