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Thu 12 Dec 2019 08:20 PM

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Three inmates killed, 21 injured in Saudi prison blaze

Investigation launched after fire erupts inside Riyadh prison, forcing mass evacuation

Three inmates killed, 21 injured in Saudi prison blaze

In September, five people were injured in a fire that broke out at a new high-speed train station in the western city of Jeddah.

A fire erupted in a Riyadh prison early Thursday, killing three inmates and injuring 21 others, Saudi state media reported.

The inmates were evacuated and the injured were rushed to hospital after the fire broke out at dawn in Al-Malaz prison, jail authorities said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Firefighting "specialists with the help of civil defence were able to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading," the statement said.

"As a result (of the fire) three deaths occurred and 21 were injured."

It did not state the cause of the fire, but said an investigation had been launched.

Accidental fires are common across the desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sometimes because of lax enforcement of safety regulations.

In September, five people were injured in a fire that broke out at a new high-speed train station in the western city of Jeddah, according to state television, with huge palls of smoke seen rising into the air.

The station serves the main Haramain High Speed Rail system, which transports passengers between Makkah and Madinah, Islam's holiest sites.