Seven Indians, six of them Keralites, were killed in a fire in a furniture godown run by a Malayali at Gafara, 10 km from Hail town, in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning.

Five of the dead — Siddeek Adhikarath, 42; Satyakumar, 22, alias Kuttan; Lalu Pathiripadam, 40; Jaisal Puthanpeedika, 24; and Zainul Abideen — belonged to Malappuram district. The sixth Malayali is Shiju Varkey from Mananthavady in Wayanad.

Zainul Abideen was from Koottilangadi, Jaisal from Chungathara and Siddeek from Moothedam. Satyakumar and Lalu were from Edakkara.

Sources said the fire broke out at 2.30 a.m. local time (5 a.m. in India). An electrical short-circuit is believed to have caused the fire.

The bodies of the victims have been kept at King Khalid Hospital at Hail, 750 km from the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh.

Sources said the godown was managed by a man from Moothedam in Malappuram district. A few other Keralites have reportedly sustained burns. The victims were asleep when the fire broke out. Some of them had returned after seeing off their friends to Kerala at the airport.