Huge fire at Jeddah’s Haramain train station now under control

1 / 11
Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
2 / 11
Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
3 / 11
Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
4 / 11
Director General of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amro assesses the progress in controlling the blaze at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
5 / 11
Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
6 / 11
A firefighting helicopter sprays water on a fire at the Haramain station in Jeddah. (AP)
7 / 11
Firefighters spray water on a fire at the Haramain station in Jeddah. (AP)
8 / 11
The fire broke out at Jeddah's Haramain station at 12:35 p.m. local time. (Makkah Government)
9 / 11
Smoke rises from the Haramain station in Jeddah after a huge fire broke out on Sunday. (AP)
10 / 11
The fire broke out at Jeddah's Haramain station at 12:35 p.m. local time. (Makkah Government)
11 / 11
A police helicopter monitors a fire at the Haramain train station in Jeddah. (AP)
Updated 30 September 2019

Huge fire at Jeddah’s Haramain train station now under control

  • Civil Defense firefighters announced complete control of the fire at dawn Monday
  • The Haramain Railway linking Makkah and Madinah with Jeddah was opened last year

JEDDAH: The Saudi Civil Defense authority has put under full control the fire that hit the Haramain Railway’s Suleimaniyah rail station in Jeddah on Sunday, which left 11 people injured.

Cooling is now underway, the Saudi Civil Defense tweeted in Arabic.

The 11 injury cases were transferred by the 16 medical teams who rushed to the fire scene – as well as Red Crescent personnel – to hospitals, state news agency SPA reported. Three cases were treated while eight remained under medical care, SPA added.




Director General of Civil Defense Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amro assesses the progress in controlling the blaze at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)

The fire erupted at 12:35pm on Monday according to the Haramain High-Speed Railway’s Twitter account. The Makkah governorate said that all train services were suspended until further notice and it urged passengers with tickets to call 920004433 for any settlements and inquiries.

Authorities confirmed that there were no fatalities. “Five people were injured in the incident and were immediately taken to a nearby hospital,” the Makkah governorate said in an earlier Twitter post.

 

The Makkah governorate said that security aviation personnel had arrived to support the estimated 26 firefighting teams of the Saudi Civil Defense in controlling the fire. Jeddah health officials have also called on residents to stay away to avoid inhaling the fumes that could cause chest diseases.

 

The Jeddah traffic department played a major role in redirecting motorists away from the area.

Dramatic videos on social media showed teams using helicopters in an attempt to put out the fire, which sent huge palls of smoke into the sky of the coastal city.

As the first high-speed electric train in the region, the Haramain High-Speed Railway spans over 450km, connecting five stations across Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah.

The railway was inaugurated by King Salman on Sep. 24, 2018. 

The project is in line with the objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plans, the main goal of which is to increase the number of pilgrims and visitors to the holy places. Officials described it as the biggest transportation project of its kind in the region.


Saudi Arabia delivers ‘early warning’ on preterm births

Updated 21 November 2019

Saudi Arabia delivers ‘early warning’ on preterm births

  • Cost of care, long-term health issues a challenge for hospitals, says expert

JEDDAH: Up to 60,000 babies are born prematurely every year in Saudi Arabia with hospitals in the Kingdom spending up to SR60,000 ($16,000) on individual treatment and specialized care, a leading pediatrician told Arab News.

Dr. Sawsan Hussein Daffa, consultant neonatologist and head of pediatrics department at the Aya Specialist Hospital, said that the Saudi Ministry of Health is working to ensure premature infants get the best medical help possible, in addition to assisting families, despite the high cost.

“Premature births can cost hospitals and insurance companies as much as SR100,000 ($26,667),” she said. “Services provided to care for premature babies can cost hospitals SR50,000-60,000 during the infant’s stay.”

Daffa was speaking after World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17.

Any child born before 36 weeks of the gestational age is called premature.

“The particularly small babies are placed in incubators for a period of time ranging from 30 to 60 days. This can cost government hospitals/insurance companies around SR60,000. Some others are placed there for longer periods and can even cost SR100,000,” she said.

However, the consultant said that up to 28 percent of premature babies die due to complications.

The Saudi Health Ministry’s website said that some preterm births are likely to have more health problems than babies born on time. “These may face long-term health problems affecting the brain, lungs, hearing or vision.”

“One of the most life-threatening problems is respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), which can cause babies to need extra oxygen and help with breathing. RDS occurs when there is not enough surfactant in the lungs. This substance, made by the lungs, keeps the airways open and helps babies breathe,” she said.

Daffa said that a baby with RDS is usually kept on a respiratory machine and receives surfactant.

“Premature babies are put in incubators until they are 1.8 to 2kg. This normally needs a month or two. Sometimes, they are placed there for three months depending on the weight of the premature child when they were born. The less they weigh, the more time they need to spend in the incubator,” she said.

Daffa said that World Prematurity Day was first celebrated 11 years ago in Italy when the families of premature infants gathered. “It has been celebrated yearly since then,” she said.

“It is an occasion during which physicians work on promoting awareness among families, especially pregnant women, to prevent preterm births. It is also a chance to spread awareness as to how to help premature babies avoid diseases.”

The consultant said that a premature baby grows differently from a full-term baby in their early years.

“These babies may start walking later than their peers. Sometimes complications can affect their brains and thus, they join school late, too,” she said. But she said that by the age of 10 their development was similar to that of other children.

The neonatologist advised parents of premature children to attend events to help their children avoid complications.

“Pregnant mothers should follow up with their doctors to detect problems early and find solutions. They should also follow a diet rich in proteins, folic acid and minerals,” she added. 

Daffa said a special vaccine given to premature babies could protect them against the respiratory syncytial virus, which normally hits premature infants from October to March.

According to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization, more than 60 percent of preterm births occur in Africa and South Asia, but preterm birth is a global problem. In lower-income countries, on average 12 percent of babies are born too early compared with 9 percent in higher-income countries, the report said.

Within countries, poorer families are at higher risk, it added.