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

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Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
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Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
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Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
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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)
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Saudi Civil Defense forces put the fire at Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah rail station under control early Monday morning. (Courtesy Saudi Civil Defense)
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A firefighting helicopter sprays water on a fire at the Haramain station in Jeddah. (AP)
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Firefighters spray water on a fire at the Haramain station in Jeddah. (AP)
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The fire broke out at Jeddah's Haramain station at 12:35 p.m. local time. (Makkah Government)
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Smoke rises from the Haramain station in Jeddah after a huge fire broke out on Sunday. (AP)
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The fire broke out at Jeddah's Haramain station at 12:35 p.m. local time. (Makkah Government)
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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 eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 26 May 2020

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.