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Region | Palestinian Territories

Six family members burned to death in Gaza

Siege and irregular power supply blamed for the death of Dhair family

  • By Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
  • Published: 19:22 January 31, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • The mother of Palestinian Hazem Idheer reacts as she stands in the burnt Idheer family house where six Palestinian family members were killed in an accidental fire including 2 parents and 4 children in Gaza City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. A Palestinian official said the Idheer family members were killed in fire while they were sleeping at their home. A relative of the family said a candle used by the family to light the room caught fire and burned the house down. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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Ramallah: Six members of the same family on Thursday died after a fire blamed on the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza and the interruptions in the power supply engulfed their home.

The remains of the family, including father Hazem Mahmoud Dhair, 32, mother Samar Naser Dhair, 30, sons Mahmoud and Nabeel, seven and five, and daughters Farah and Qamar, three and two months, were taken to Al Shafa Medical Complex.

Speaking to Gulf News, General Yousuf Al Zahar, Director-General of the Civil Defence Authority, blamed the Israeli siege on the territory and the power problems in Gaza.

According to General Al Zahar, the family left its electric heater on and went to sleep. “At night, power was cut off for some hours. When electricity was restored, there was a short circuit which led to the fire,” he said. “The sudden return of power is catastrophic in Gaza.”

General Al Zahar said that this was the tenth such incident in the Strip since the siege was imposed. “Tens of people lost their lives in such accidents,” he said.

“Unless the power problem is addressed immediately, more victims will be added to the list,” he said.

Dr Ayman Al Sahabani, who heads the Casualty and Admission Department at Al Shafa, told Gulf News more such cases are expected especially with the extreme weather conditions in the territories, because residents are going back to primitive methods to warm themselves.

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