Fire in Qatar's Villagio Mall claims 19 lives

Fire started Monday morning; majority of victims were children

Qatar Civil Defense personnel work in the aftermath of the blaze (source: MOI).
Qatar Civil Defense personnel work in the aftermath of the blaze (source: MOI).
Two Civil Defense stafff were among the dead (source: MOI).
Two Civil Defense stafff were among the dead (source: MOI).
Villagio Mall interior shot in 2011 (Getty Images).
Villagio Mall interior shot in 2011 (Getty Images).

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A fire at Villagio Mall in Doha, Qatar, has claimed the lives of 19 people, including 13 children.

The blaze was reported around 11:30 am yesterday, according to a statement from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior. In addition to the 13 children, four women and two civil defense personnel also perished. Unconfirmed reports indicate that they all died of asphyxiation.

(see video of blaze)

At one stage up to 20 children were trapped inside a nursery at the mall.

“Due to the dense smoke and high temperature inside the mall, the firefighters faced difficulty in accessing to the nursery,” said the ministry statement.

“Hence, a courageous alternative rescue plan was taken by civil defense team. Then fire fighters accessed the place of children through the ceiling of the mall and rescue personnel spent great and painstaking efforts in order to save the children and staffers trapped in the nursery, as a result, two men from the Civil Defense were martyred while they were carrying out their noble mission.”

The statement went on to say that authorities in Qatar have started an investigation into the cause of the fire, via the Public Prosecution service.

The ministry has also indicated that an investigation committee will be formed “to follow and review safety requirements in buildings”.

Villagio Mall was developed by Gondolania and officially opened in 2006.

Voltas provided MEP works for the Villaggio retail, sports and entertainment centre.
 

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