Video: Sheikh Hamdan visits family who lost seven children in Fujairah house fire
Fujairah - Mourners throng to pay homage to deceased kids.
Published: Wed 24 Jan 2018, 4:29 PM
Last updated: Wed 24 Jan 2018, 8:36 PM
The air was thick with gloom and agony as people gathered on Tuesday to mourn the tragic death of seven children of one Emirati family in a villa in Rol Dhadna in Fujairah. The kids were suffocated to death after a short circuit in the air conditioner triggered smoke and fire.
Everyone from Sheikhs to senior government officials and residents thronged the condolence tents to pay their respects. Among them were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; and Lt-Gen Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
The condolence tents were thronged with people, locals and residents, from all across the country, who had come to offer homage and express their grief to the distressed family.
Eng Hassan Al Yamahi, director of the Fujairah Municipality, said they were shocked by the sad news. "We are all here to stand by the bereaved family in their time of grief," he said.
Obaid Khalfan Al Khaddeem, director of the Fujairah Hospital, said they were rattled that all the seven kids - aged five to 15 - had died. "They were suffocated to death by the dense smoke before they could be shifted by the national ambulance to the hospital."
Brigadier Ali Obaid Al Tunaiji, director of the Fujairah Civil Defence Department, offered his condolences to the grieving family, and advised all families to have fire and smoke detectors installed. "These gadgets significantly decrease suffocation cases (due to smoke, fire, or gas leak) by giving away early alerts."
The department has coordinated with two companies, specialised in smoke detection, to provide the life-saving devices at affordable prices. "Smoke detectors can be provided at Dh2,500 to Dh5,000."
Rashid Al Saridi, uncle of the deceased children, said the kids used to visit him at his house after they got back from school. "To have them all lost in one tragic fire is a disaster. What we can say is what we have all been urged to do and say in the holy Quran: 'To Allah we belong, and to him is our return."
He urged all families to always keep an eye on their kids and secure them wherever they are. "A disaster can happen in no time."
Abdullah Rashid Al Saridi, a cousin of the children, told Khaleej Times that they rushed to the house following a phone call from their aunt. However, they could not enter the room on fire because of the flames and dense smoke.
"We made several attempts to get inside the room and rescue the kids, but in vain," he said. "We called the police who managed to dash into the house, but it was unfortunately too late, as the children had died."
He added that the house in which the kids lived was built in the 80s. It was very old and in dire need of maintenance, and the weak electric cables couldn't take heavy load, he pointed out.
Ahmad Al Saridi, uncle of the kids, said he came to know about the tragic fire while he was in Abu Dhabi where he stays. "I immediately rushed to Dibba Al Fujairah, and helped shift the kids to the hospital, but they were already dead."