Rescue officers of the Civil Defence Team averted a major disaster yesterday by bringing out 140 people to safety after a fire broke out, trapping them in a high-rise building in the Manama area.
The incident caused injuries to 10 people. Five of the injured – tenants at the building – were taken to a local hospital by the National Ambulance team. Five others who suffered from smoke inhalation were diagnosed and given first aid by medics stationed at the accident scene. Authorities did not report any casualties.
The fire, which drew ten fire trucks and several firefighters who worked to rescue the people on multiple floors, caused several tense moments as smoke quickly rose through the building. Visuals from the scene showed several ambulances and firefighting vehicles lined up on the street, kept under strict control by police officers.
As emergency rescue officers quickly moved injured people on stretchers to ambulances that rushed to hospitals, firefighters continued efforts to rescue survivors from multiple floors of the building using a fire brigade crane stationed on the street.
The General Administration of Civil Defence said the fire was confined to the building and brought under control before spreading to nearby buildings.
“Our officers and vehicles rushed to the scene soon after receiving an alert.” Interior Ministry also tweeted, “The Civil Defence evacuates a building in the Manama area of its residents as a precaution and begins operations to put out a fire that broke out in it, and the competent authorities carry out their procedures on the site.”
Meanwhile, police blocked off several building surrounding the affected building to traffic as firefighters rescued dozens from the building’s upper floor. Inside the cordoned-off areas, firefighters milled around the building as onlookers waited with bated breath and anxious eyes.
Among the multitude of vehicles brought out to help quench the fires included specialised cranes and other equipment. After rescuing all the occupants, firefighters also went on with cooling measures to prevent the fire from recurring.
An investigation is ongoing. Interior Ministry also later confirmed that the Civil Defence forces managed to douse the fire. No clarification is available on what sparked the fire and the extent of the damage.
Suspect caught behind fire in Manama However, in a statement released on its Twitter, Interior Ministry said the Capital Police arrested a person for “deliberately setting fire to a building in the Manama area” yesterday morning.
Police said the man was in an abnormal state at the time of the arrest. Police arrested the suspect less than an hour after setting the building on fire, said the Capital Governorate Police Directorate. Interior Ministry said they are pursuing legal procedures to refer the suspect to the Public Prosecution.