Five arrested over Qatar's Villaggio mall blaze

Daughter of Qatari minister among the detained after 19 die in fire

Qatari authorities have ordered a probe into mall fire.
Qatari authorities have ordered a probe into mall fire.

The daughter of Qatar’s Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage has been arrested along with four others following the fire at Doha's Villaggio Mall, which killed 19 people.

Iman Al-Kuwari, who ran the Gympanzee childcare facility in the retail centre, was arrested along with the mall’s manager, assistant manager and the assistant director of security, reported Qatar News Agency.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in a Doha park yesterday to hold a vigil for the victims of the fire, which claimed the lives of 13 children along with four teachers and two firefighters.

The fire broke out at around 11am on Monday and up to 180 civil defence personnel were said to be involved in extinguishing the blaze and rescue efforts.

Qatari authorities have yet to confirm how the fire was started, although reports from the Ministry of Interior highlighted a “lack of floor plans, thick smoke and heat and malfunctioning sprinkler systems hindered rescue efforts” during the fire.

Qatari authorities have ordered a probe into mall fire, which has prompted questions about safety standards in the gulf state.

The Villaggio opened in 2006 and is one of the emirate’s most popular shopping and amusement destinations.

 

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