Last Updated: Wed Oct 31, 2012 18:34 pm (KSA) 15:34 pm (GMT)

Wedding turns into disaster as electric shock kills 24 east of Saudi Arabia

Residents sift through debris following a fire at a wedding in Saudi Arabia that killed 25 people. (Courtesy: AlRiyadh.com)
Residents sift through debris following a fire at a wedding in Saudi Arabia that killed 25 people. (Courtesy: AlRiyadh.com)

An electric shock killed 24 people, and wounded 30 others, mostly women, celebrating a wedding in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia early on Wednesday, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

The wedding was held in "Ain Badr" village, in Abqaiq, 60 kilometeres southwest of the Dhahran-Dammam-Khobar metropolitan area.

The disaster occurred when a high voltage power line fell down and touched the metal door of the house where the wedding was being held, according to sources from the Saudi Civil Defense.

In line with traditions in the Gulf, wedding celebrations in Saudi Arabia are segregated.

Most of the casualties were women, and they died as they attempted to escape through the electrified metal door, the Civil Defense sources told Al Arabiya.

Many of the victims were electrocuted as they attempted to leave the building, the Saudi-based news website Sabq reported.

A photograph of the aftermath of the accident, published on local newspapers' websites showed a large courtyard strewn with fallen chairs and a pole in the middle supporting cables carrying lightbulbs.

Eastern Province governor Prince Mohammed bin Fahd ordered an investigation into the incident, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

In July 1999, 76 people died in a similar incident in Eastern Province.

In 2009, a wedding tent fire caused the death 57 women and children in Kuwait. The fire was started allegedly by a 23-year-old woman who wanted to ruin the marriage of her husband with a second wife.

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