7 children suffocate to death in their sleep in Fujairah
The room where the children were sleeping when the tragedy happened in the wee hours of Monday. - Photo by M. Sajjad
Fujairah - A short circuit caused the fire in the air conditioner of the children's room, after which the AC gas leaked.
An Emirati mother has been left devastated after she lost all her children on a single tragic night in Fujairah. Her seven children aged between five and 13 years suffocated to death in the wee hours of Monday as a fire broke out at their villa.
A short circuit caused the fire in the air conditioner of the children's room, after which the AC gas leaked. The four boys and three girls died as they slept.
The deceased have been identified as twins Sara and Sumaia (5), Ali (9), Sheikha (10), Ahmad (11), Khalifa (13) and Shooq (15). They were from the Al Suraidi family. Their father had passed away last year and they lived with their mother at the villa in Rol Dhadna.
At dawn, the children's diabetic mother, who was sleeping in another room, woke up to take her insulin shot. As she stepped out of her room, she saw her children's room was on fire. In a state of panic, the woman called her relatives and the Fujairah Police and notified them about the fire and the fact that her children were trapped inside.
However, the police had been informed too late. According to the police, despite arriving at the site and controlling the fire in a "record time", emergency personnel from Dibba Al Fujairah found the seven children dead.
Top officials of the force, including Major-General Mohammed Ahmed bin Ghanem Al Kaabi, Commander-in-Chief, rushed to the spot. Maj-Gen Al Kaabi said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.
He said: "We urge the public to instal smoke and fire detectors to avoid such tragedies in the future."
Saeed, a nephew of the mother of the seven kids, said he stayed in Dibba Al Fujairah while his aunt lived with her children at the villa. "As far as I know, the fire broke out around 3am. My aunt usually wakes up at this time for a regular injection as she had an operation in Thailand a few months back. "When she opened the door of her room and entered the hall, she was shocked to see the dense smoke and flames. She could not move a step, and immediately called us for help. However, neither me nor my brothers or relatives and family members could enter the house because of the thick smoke."
Ali Salem, a friend of Khalifa (one of the seven children), said that he was shocked to hear about his friend's death. "We used to talk and play together. I will miss him so much."
Mohammed Al Saridi, half-brother of the seven children, said: "I am shocked by the death of my siblings. I was in the office when I received the tragic news."
Talking to Khaleej Times, Essa Mohammed, the uncle of the seven children said, "I came to know about the tragic fire while I was at work. Some say the fire was caused because of the air conditioner, while others say it was the heater. We don't know the real cause of the fire yet."
Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of the seven children outside a mosque near their house. The long road leading to Rul Dadna Cemetery was crowded with over a hundred cars parked on both sides.