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Bahrain plans tougher rules on home rentals
Manama, January 13, 2013
Bahrain is planning stricter guidelines on renting private homes to labourers following a blaze at a Manama building that killed 13 workers on January 11, said a senior government official.
Work on surveying dilapidated buildings which pose a threat will also be stepped up, Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa was quoted as saying in our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.
He was speaking after meeting the chiefs of Civil Defence, Public Security and Capital Governorate Police to discuss Friday's tragedy.
This follows directives from His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa calling for a detailed report on the blaze and the living conditions of workers.
At least 10 Bangladeshis died in the blaze at the three-storey building in Mukharqa and an investigation is underway to probe its cause. The bodies of three other victims have still to be identified after being burned beyond recognition.
Shaikh Rashid said he will review the measures at a meeting next Tuesday with ministers of Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs, Labour, Electricity and Water, and Health.
He said investigations showed that the building in Manama was not a labour camp and had 27 rooms that accommodated more than 160 people.
Civil Defence teams reached the scene within six minutes, but the fire spread all over the building upon their arrival because of the "use of wood and inflammable materials in all parts of the building", he said.
He also praised firemen for their efforts in protecting lives and property.
Separately, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged businessmen to ensure they provide safe accommodation for workers.
Chamber chairman Dr Essam Fakhro slammed overcrowded labour camps for putting the lives of workers at risk.
Meanwhile, the preliminary findings of a Labour Ministry probe into the tragedy showed the Bahraini landlord had leased the three-storey building to an Asian. – TradeArabia News Service