Qatar Fire Kills 19
A fire at a shopping mall in Qatar has left 19 people dead, 13 of whom were children.
Believed to have started in the nursery, witnesses spoke of ‘thick black smoke’
billowing from the Villaggio mall. Fire officials reportedly had to break through the roof to get to trapped children.
The fire began at 11.30 A.M. local time and police were sent to evacuate the centre whilst medics treated the injured. According to a relative of one of the victims it is suggested there were no fire alarms or sprinklers, but this has not been confirmed or denied.
The Interior Ministry has confirmed that four teachers and two civil defense officials we among the victims. Diplomatic sources have also confirmed that another four victims were Spanish nationals.
Witness reports suggest the evacuation was ‘very chaotic’ and the handling of the incident has already come under criticism.
The Villaggio opened in 2006 and is one of the most popular complexes in the Gulf state. The centre boasts world-class facilities, including a cinema, a hotel and a Venice-style theme park.