Mourning 13 Expatriates Online in Bahrain

Manama the capital of Bahrain is known to be the residence of many expatriates. The older neighborhoods of Manama is where the less privileged expat workers live in old traditional Bahraini houses, where there has been many incidents leading to casualties.

@ManamaFebEN, a Twitter account that has been reporting on the events of the Bahraini revolution in Manama tweeted:

@ManamaFebEN: A fire in one of the houses near the Matam Bin Saloom [a historic shia house of worship] in #Manama before some moments ago..

Fire in an expat workers house in Manama by @ManamaFebEN

Fire in an expat workers house in Manama, shared on Twitter by @ManamaFebEN

Police response was swift as per the Twitter account, saying that police arrived to the scene only minutes after. However, their behavior might be unorthodox:

@ManamaFebEN#Manama| mercenaries hit the poor expats with the sticks, just because they're watching..


Few hours later Bahrain's ministry of interior affairs tweeted:

@Moi_Bahrain:Part of the burning building in Mukharqa collapsed and bodies of two Asians were found, while a civil defence personnel injured


An hour later they added:

MOI_Bahrain:13 bodies were found at the three-storey building after controlling the fire


Such news made it's impact on the Bahraini websphere. Journalist Reem Khalifa tweeted:

#Bahrain نعزي اسر ضحايا حريق المنامة من العمالة الاسيوية

@Reem_Khalifawe offer our condolences to the families of the expatriate workers who are victims of Manama's fire

Abdulnabi Salman, an ex-MP, criticized the efforts toward protecting the less privileged workers saying:

لا احدفي الجانب الرسمي والقطاع الخاص يعبأ بالاهتمام بالعمالة الفقيرة وتقع المسؤلية على دولها الاصلية لحمايتها عبر اشتراطات ملزمة #Bahrain

@BuSalman1960: No one from the officials in the public sector or the private sector cares about the poor expat labors, the responsibility lies on their countries to protect them with binding conditions


Blogger Ahmed Habib witnessed the fire. He described a scene of the area:

العثور على ١٣ جثة بعد حريق في مبنى في المنامة مررت على المبنى وشاهدت حالة الحزن والبكاء لدى الآسيويين. تغمد الله ارواحهم #Bahrain

@ahmdhabib: 13 bodies were found after a fire in a building in Manama I passed by the building and saw the state of grievance and tears among the Asian workers. May their souls rest in peace.


Writer Jaffer Al-alawi compared this tragedy to previous incidents that had similar results:

١٣ آسيوي يقضون نحبهم في حريق بسكن عمال يعيد للذاكرة سيناريو ٢٠٠٦ وحريق مبنى القضيبية ولجان التحقيق وأشياء أخرى. الله يرحمهم. #BAHRAIIN

@JustJa3far: 13 Asian perish in fire in a labor residence which brings back memories of 2006 scenario and the fire in Qudhaibya [a neighborhood in Manama] and their investigation committees and many other things. God have mercy on their souls.


The ministry of interior issued a statement saying that an investigation to determine the causes and responsibilities, blogger Chanad Bahraini tweeted another tragic incident happening in the same day which raises concerns about the status of expat labors in Bahrain, it says:

@Chanadbh#Bahrain: On the same day as 13 migrant workers killed in fire, another Indian migrant worker commits suicide …

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