Saudi Arabia launches investigation into cause of fire that ripped through high-speed railway station

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Makkah Governor, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, toured the scene of the fire at the Haramain train station in Sulaimaniyah district in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Makkah Governor, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, toured the scene of the fire at the Haramain train station in Sulaimaniyah district in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Makkah Governor, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, toured the scene of the fire at the Haramain train station in Sulaimaniyah district in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Makkah Governor, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, toured the scene of the fire at the Haramain train station in Sulaimaniyah district in Jeddah. (SPA)
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Makkah Governor, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, toured the scene of the fire at the Haramain train station in Sulaimaniyah district in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 01 October 2019

Saudi Arabia launches investigation into cause of fire that ripped through high-speed railway station

  • The main damage occurred on the second floor and the roof
  • The fire injured 11 people on Sunday in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Saudi civil defense chiefs began an investigation on Monday into the fire that engulfed the showpiece Haramain high-speed railway station in Jeddah.

Eleven people were injured when the blaze tore through the station in the Sulaymaniyah district on Sunday.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal inspected the damage on a visit to the scene. He described it as a “very serious issue” and said the cause of the fire was still unknown.

“Parts of the terminal ceiling are still falling down. However, the ground and first floor were not affected. The problems are with the second floor and the ceiling,” he said.

The governor urged the media and the public not to jump to conclusions about how the fire started. 

“Just wait for the results of the investigation; we will keep everyone in the loop. All committees tasked with the investigation are still in the preliminary stages of collecting information and evidence.

“Such accidents have happened in other countries, but we are hopeful that the investigation will make everything clear. 

The Interior Ministry, Transport Ministry and the Makkah governorate are comprehensively looking into the  situation.]

“The results of these investigations will be submitted to the leadership for whatever directives King Salman may issue.”

The governor praised those who had “risked their lives to control the fire,” and hoped they could be rewarded.

The 11 people injured in the fire were taken to hospital. Three were treated, and eight remain under medical care.

The railway was inaugurated by King Salman on Sept. 24, 2018 and is the biggest transport project in the region.

 


Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

Photo/SPA
Updated 39 min 48 sec ago

Saudi female lawyers praise Justice Ministry’s efforts to empower women

  • Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement

JEDDAH: Several Saudi female lawyers have praised the Justice Ministry’s decision to appoint 100 female notaries as a step forward for women’s legal empowerment.
“We appreciate Justice Minister Walid Al-Samani’s … rapid steps toward empowering women to work in all available jobs, considering them viable components of society, particularly in the justice sector,” lawyer Njnood Qasim told Arab News.
She added: “We hope that it will be the beginning of an important and most anticipated step, which is the appointment of a Saudi woman as a judge.”
Qasim noted that many qualified women have been recruited by the Justice Ministry for the first time in history to work in the fields of law, Shariah, sociology, administration and technology.
Lawyer Rana Al-Daknan, meanwhile, said she thought women could fill any role in society. “An ambassador, an undersecretary, a minister, but I think no woman should be a minister before women become judges,” she told Arab News.
Compared to the previous status of women at the Justice Ministry, Al-Daknan said this latest step was a significant achievement, but added: “Of course we are looking for more, though that does not mean we should not appreciate this step.”

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The newly appointed female notaries will officially start their work next Sunday with a specialized training program lasting three months.

Al-Daknan explained that women first began obtaining notary licenses in 2018, and the services they offer include documentation, transferring property, authorizing powers of attorney submissions and other services.
“The next step for women is working with conciliation committees, which is known in other countries as being a magistrate. Thankfully it is possible now for both men and women to obtain conciliation licenses, where they will assume the role of the judge,” Al-Daknan said. “I personally have applied and (am) in the process to obtain this license.”
Another lawyer, Abrar Shaket, told Arab News that this move was the natural result of the Kingdom’s steps to empower its female citizens under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.