Faulty Wiring Blamed for Doha Mall Fire

The May 28 fire killed 13 children, four teachers, and two firefighters inside a child care center at the Villaggio shopping mall in Doha.

Faulty wiring caused the May 28 fire at a posh Qatar shopping mall that killed 19 people, the newspaper Gulf Times reports, citing a report by the state news agency QNA based on an investigating committee's report. Thirteen children and four teachers at the Gympanzee child care center inside the Villaggio shopping mall in Doha died of smoke inhalation, along with two firefighters trying to carry out a rescue.

The fire began in the mezzanine floor of a Nike sportswear store "due to faulty electrical wiring in the fluorescent light," according to the report, which said plastic components of the light fixture ignited. The fire spread to the Gympanzee next door.

The child care center wasn't licensed as a nursery by the Ministry of Social Affairs and did not have the necessary safety fixtures in place, according to the QNA account.

The timeline of the fire was an initial report of smoke at 10:50 a.m., Civil Defence alerted by a distress call at 11:02 a.m., and emergency personnel and equipment arriving at the scene about 11:05 a.m. They did not learn that children were trapped in child care center for another 30 minutes, however, according to Gulf Times, which reported the committee could not confirm whether fire sprinklers were installed in the Nike store. Its report says the committee also cited poor coordination among government agencies responsible for public safety and deficiencies in the nation's fire safety standards.

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