Ten members of an Omani family, including eight children, died after fire broke out at their house in Khour al Hammam village in the Wilayat of Saham on Thursday. The deceased, aged between 1 and 49, were sleeping inside the house and died due to smoke inhalation.
Three other children were away from home when the tragedy struck the family early morning.
Firefighters from the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) received a house fire alert at 4:25 am. Accordingly, firefighters rushed to the site and they managed to douse the fire. The cause of the fire is not yet known and investigation is on, an ROP official said.
Hussain al Saeedi, a family relative, who spoke to the Observer, said, “We mourn as we lost 10 members of the family. It was shocking and tragi. Fire broke out in one of the rooms in the house. Quickly, smoke spread to other rooms where the family members were sleeping. We assume they all died due to suffocation.”
“The whole family consists of 13 members. 10 members died at the ill-fated house and three members, who were away from their home, are left now. Qasim (49), Aisha (45), Bushra (18), Sarah (12), Hawaa (2), Al Hawraa (5), Huthaifa (15), Yasin (13), Hamza (8) and Al Baraa (1) died after inhaling toxic fumes,” he said.
“The family was sleeping in two rooms; the parents and two children were found in one room and the other children in the other room,” Hussain added.
Abu Imaad, a family relative, said “It was not the first time fire broke out at this house. Last month, one of the rooms was engulfed in fire. However, no injuries were reported.”
Of the three siblings left, one is married and the others are studying in Nizwa and Shinas.
The Saham incident is said to be one of the biggest fire-related tragedies the country has seen in recent times.
In 2017, seven Omani women, including five kids, and their maid were killed in fire in Barka. In 2015, three Indians were killed in a fire that broke out in their home in Muscat due to a wiring fault.
Safety experts say poor electrical wiring in both private and commercial buildings is the major cause of fire in the country.
The Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA) last month confirmed that there had been 1,205 cases of fire in various parts of the country in 2017, compared to 1,189 cases reported last year.