Building collapses at Saudi university, killing 7 workers

AP News
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Posted: Apr 27, 2015 5:50 PM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Seven workers, including an Egyptian engineer, were killed Monday when the roof of a building they were working on collapsed at a university campus in Saudi Arabia, civil defense authorities and a diplomat said.

A civil defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, confirmed to The Associated Press that the death toll had climbed from four to seven people. He said that six workers were injured and at least two still missing under the rubble.

Ashraf Shiha, consul at Egypt's Embassy in Saudi Arabia, told the AP that an Egyptian engineer is among the dead.

A civil defense statement said the incident took place on the campus of al-Qassim University in the city of Buraydah. The statement said some 50 workers were at the site at the time, without elaborating on their status.

The statement did not disclose the nationalities of the dead and missing workers. Most of the kingdom's laborers hail from South Asian countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Local government news websites reported that air medical services, ambulances, the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, civil defense authorities and security teams are taking part in the rescue operation. The cement and steel roof that collapsed was part of a large conference center being built.

The governor of al-Qassim province where the university is located, Prince Faisal bin Meshaal, visited the site of the collapse. Buraydah, the provincial capital, is about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh. The governor ordered the creation of a committee to investigate the incident comprised of representatives from his office, the university and the region's civil defense authorities.