By Aya Nader
The presidency offered condolences to the families of dead Egyptian pilgrims in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.
The nine Egyptians were among 12 dead and 130 injured in a hotel fire Saturday, according to a statement from the Egyptian foreign ministry. Sixty-one of those injured were Egyptian.
Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi also offered his condolences. The Minister of Civil Aviation said the ministry is cooperating with Egypt Air to bring the victims to Egypt.
Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said the consulate general in Jeddah, in cooperation with the Saudi Director of Civil Defense and representatives of Medina’s Ministry of Health, are taking steps to preserve the legal and financial rights of the victims should the fire be proven the result of negligence.
Egypt’s foreign ministry has set up an operations room to keep track of the incident, while the Egyptian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the consulate general in Jeddah sent a mission to the site of the incident to investigate, provide medical care to the injured and assist in shipping the bodies of those killed.