- Created on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 20:33
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At least 19 people including 13 children have been killed in a fire at a major shopping mall and entertainment complex in the Qatari capital Doha. Officials said that four female teachers and two firefighters were among those killed in the fire, while at least 17 others were injured. Among the children were six boys and seven girls.
Firefighters were 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.
The Health Ministry has cited suffocation due to smoke inhalation as the cause of death for many of the children and teachers at the Gympanzee nursery.
The nationalities of the children included Japanese, Filipino, South African, and also European and Arab, but no Qataris. Three of the teachers killed were Filipino and one was African.
Eyewitnesses have reported confusion in the rescue effort, saying they saw no evidence of an organised evacuation plan. Some among the witnesses has reported that the emergency exits in the shopping complex were locked.
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. Qatari government is to appoint a commission to investigate into the cause of the incident.(niz)