At least 25 people died, most of them women and children, and 30 others were injured in a fire that broke out during a wedding in the Ain Dar al Yadida zone, in eastern Saudi Arabia, the local press reported Wednesday.

The Civil Defense spokesman in the eastern region of the kingdom, Gen. Mohammed Al Auyami, told the digital version of the daily Al Iqtisadiya that the fire erupted Tuesday evening due to a short circuit in the courtyard of the house where the wedding was being held.

The injured were transported to the general hospital in Baqiq and to the Aramco health facility.

The prince of Saudi Arabia's eastern region, Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdelaziz, on Wednesday formed and convened an urgent meeting of a committee to investigate the incident, asked that the health situation of the injured be carefully monitored and called on the authorities and the public to offer them any help they might require, the official news agency SPA reported.

The prince also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and expressed his hope that the injured would recover as quickly as possible.

In March 2002, 15 girls lost their lives and 50 were injured in a fire at a girls school in the city of Mecca, in the western part of the kingdom.

That fire unleashed great controversy in the country after eyewitnesses said that Religious Police officers blocked rescue efforts since many of the students were not covered from head to foot, as the strict moral code of the conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam that rules Saudi Arabia demands.

However, the authorities later denied those reports. EFE