Seven persons, including six expat women, were charred to death in a fiery crash as they attempted to jump a police checkpoint 185 km from Taif on Saturday.
All six women, believed to be Ethiopians working as housemaids, were illegal who were on their way to Riyadh when the accident occurred.
“Road security forces attempted to stop a speeding vehicle, but the driver failed to stop, prompting security forces to fire multiple shots in the air,” said Lt. Aati Al-Qurashi of the Makkah regional police headquarters in a statement.
“The speeding car then vanished, but a mere 15 minutes later, police received a report stating that the car had tried to avoid the speed bumps ahead by driving into the opposite lane, only to crash into three cars and then an electricity pole, setting fire to a nearby fuel tanker.”
He said: “The car was gutted with all seven passengers inside by the time Civil Defense teams arrived at the scene.”
He added: “We can confirm that the victims were all illegal expats.”
Acting Ethiopian Consul-General Sherif Osman told Arab News that his consulate was not made aware of the incident.
Sources told Arab News that some of the victims’ relatives came to Al-Moya Hospital, where two of the bodies had been shifted, confirming their nationalities, while five bodies had been shifted to a general hospital in Zulm.
Sources also confirmed that all of the bodies would be transferred to a morgue in Taif.
Ethiopian men and women routinely infiltrate the Kingdom from the southern borders, heading to Riyadh and other cities in search of work.
Five illegal Ethiopians were killed when their car crashed on the way to Riyadh from Najran three months ago.