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4 workers killed in Saudi Arabia building collapse

File photo of a collapsed construction in Saudi Arabia

Four foreign workers in Saudi Arabia were killed when an under-construction conference center they were working on collapsed at a University campus northwest of the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

According to a local civil defense statement cited in media reports on Monday, at least four other workers were wounded and more than 50 are trapped following the structural collapse, which happened on the campus of al-Qassim University in the city of Buraydah.

Buraydah, the capital of al-Qassim region in northcentral Saudi Arabia, is about 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of capital Riyadh.

The building collapse "happened at noon and resulted in more than 50 workers being trapped", said the official Saudi Press Agency, adding that only four of the wounded workers had been recovered from under the rubble.

However, there are still varied and conflicting reports about the number of workers hurt or trapped at the site, with reports of as many as 14 injuries and as few as three trapped.

The university’s spokesman Bandar al-Roshodi stated in an interview with Saudi television news channel al-Ekhbariya that most of the workers trapped under the rubble were from Pakistan.  

He further noted members of the labor force working at the construction site were from "different nationalities."

When asked about chances of recovering more survivors from under the rubble, Roshodi only said, "We have hope, God willing."

The official Saudi press reports, however, did not mention a possible cause for the structural collapse. The cement and steel roof that buckled was part of a huge convention center that was under construction.

Meanwhile, broadcast images from the scene of the accident showed an expansive though low-level construction site, where many steel support rods had buckled along with other parts of the massive structure.

According to official Saudi news websites, air medical services, ambulances, the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, civil defense authorities and “security teams” are participating in the rescue operation.


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