Fire Started in Nursery
Update, Tuesday morning: It is being reported that three of the children who perished were triplets from New Zealand.
A MAJOR FIRE MONDAY MORNING in a Dohar, Qatar, shopping mall has killed 19 people. The fire started in the second-floor nursery in the upscale shopping center and spread into the mall. The fatalities included 13 children who were in the nursery along with four of the teachers and eventually two of the civil defense firefighters perished in the blaze.
The fire response was extremely slow and the fire had gotten out of control by the time they arrived.
The nursery was soon isolated when the only access to it, a stairwell collapsed from the fire. The only access to the nursery for the rescuers was to cut a hole in the roof and descend into the nursery. They were able to rescue several more children and a number of the firefighters were injured during the incident.
CNN International filed this video report from the scene:
Several people interviewed by the press told reporters that there was no fire alarm, nor was there ever any attempt to evacuate the shoppers. People only began to leave when the smoke got so bad that they couldn't stand it anymore.
The fire lasted for several hours before it was knocked down.
The Villagio shopping mall is a major facility in the Arab Gulf country's capital city and contains scores of big-name retailers familiar to Westerners. It is a combination shopping and amusement center and is a destination site for travelers. It contains an ice skating rink, cinema complex and theme park besides the retailers.
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