THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday confirmed the death of six Filipinos, including three children and a pregnant woman, in a fire that struck a flat they were renting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
ACTS Overseas Filipino Workers (ACTS-OFW) party-list Rep. John Bertiz, who was in Saudi Arabia as part of the Philippine special mission to migrant workers, first reported the incident.
He said the six victims died from suffocation when their residence was gutted by fire around 9 a.m. (Saudi Arabia time) while they were sleeping.
The victims were identified as Sahara Mapandi, 46; Dodio Guiamat, the pregnant Karen Anne Guiamat, 31; Rema Mapandi, 8; Ryan Mapandi, 7; and Aneeka Guiamat, 1.
Two more Filipinos were injured in the incident.
“First of all, our embassy in Riyadh has already informed us about this incident,” Charles Jose, spokesman for and DFA assistant secretary, said.
He added that the department will extend help to the bereaved families of the victims if they decide to bring the remains of their loved ones back to the Philippines.
Faulty electrical wiring was initially seen as the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, Jose said the Philippine government will seek legal action against the employer of Irma Avila Edloy, who died of severe injuries from suspected sexual assault last week in Saudi Arabia.
“We are ready to help in the police investigation and if it is proven that her death is related to alleged maltreatment, definitely, we will help with the filing of appropriate charges and we will help for the repatriation of her remains,” he added.
Edloy, who arrived as domestic helper in Riyadh only last July 28, reportedly suffered a stroke after seeing her Saudi Arabian employer who visited her at the hospital.
The employer allegedly raped and beat her.