Humanity Voice - 19 people killed, including 13 children, in fire at shopping complex in Qatar

 

 

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  19 people killed, including 13 children, in fire at shopping complex in Qatar
humanitarianvoice - 2012-05-28

19 people killed, including 13 children, in fire at shopping complex in Qatar

At least 19 people have been killed, including 13 children, in a fire at a major shopping mall and entertainment complex in the Qatari capital Doha, according to the country's interior ministry.

The ministry said on Monday that four teachers and two firefighters were among those killed in the fire, while at least 17 others were injured.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the scene, said that firefighters had been forced to go through the roof of the mall to reach a nursery where the children were trapped.

"The nursery, where most of the children were, is on the first floor with difficult access," our correspondent said.

"We were told the nationalities of the children included Japanese, Filipino, South African, and also European and Arab, but no Qatari," she said. "Three of the teachers were Filipino and one was African."

Dekker said that the cause of the fire was not confirmed, and authorities were still investigating.

"A witness who was in the mall told me that initially he saw green smoke, and soon after that it turned black and then very heavy," Dekker said.

"He also said that the sprinkler system was not working."

At the evening press conference, the minister of the interior expressed his condolence for those that died in the fire, and said that most of the injured were firefighters from the civil defence operation.

Footage posted online showed black smoke billowing from the shopping centre as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.

The Villagio is one of the Gulf country's largest and most popular shopping malls, containing a cinema, an ice rink and an amusement park.

Al-Jazeera/AB

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