RIYADH -- Celebratory gunfire at a wedding party in eastern Saudi Arabia Tuesday night brought down an electric cable, killing 23 people, a local civil defense official said.
"At the wedding, the cable fell on a metal door and the 23 people who died were all electrocuted," Eastern Province official Abdullah Khashman said by phone.
However, the al-Jazeera news organization cited local media reports that some of the casualties died as a result of a fire caused by the downed cable. The local reports said the dead were women and children.
Shooting at weddings banned
A photograph of the aftermath of the accident, published on local newspapers' websites, showed a large courtyard strewn with fallen chairs and a pole in the middle supporting cables carrying lightbulbs.
All those killed were from the same tribe, Khashman said. Thirty others were injured in the incident near Abqaiq, a center of the Saudi energy industry.
Saudi Arabia banned the shooting of firearms at weddings, a popular tradition in tribal areas of the conservative Islamic kingdom, last month.
Eastern Province governor Prince Mohammed bin Fahd ordered an investigation into the incident, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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