Foreign labourers watch as firefighters (unseen) inspect a building where a fire broke out in Manama on January 12, 2013
Foreign labourers watch as firefighters (unseen) inspect a building where a fire broke out in Manama on January 12, 2013. © Mohammed al-Shaikh - AFP
Foreign labourers watch as firefighters (unseen) inspect a building where a fire broke out in Manama on January 12, 2013
AFP
Last updated: January 12, 2013

Fire kills 13 in Bahraini workers' housing block

A fire in a three-storey block housing Asian workers in the Bahraini capital killed at least 13 people, the state BNA news agency reported late on Friday.

One firefighter was also injured when the building's roof collapsed during a rescue attempt, the news agency added.

An investigation was under way to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out on Friday afternoon in the building in the Makharka district of central Manama.

Foreigners make up 54 percent of the 1.234-million population of tiny but strategic Bahrain, according to a 2010 census.

At 562,040, Asian nationals made up 84.3 percent of foreign residents and 45.5 percent of the total population of the Gulf kingdom.

The living and working conditions of the huge migrant workforce in the Gulf have been the subject of repeated criticism by human rights watchdogs.

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