Qatari mall blaze probe ordered

May 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM
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DOHA, Qatar, May 29 (UPI) -- Qatar's public health minister confirmed the Villagio mall fire claimed the lives of 19 people, including 13 children at a nursery school.

Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani, speaking at a news conference at the Interior Ministry also attended by Sheik Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, minister of state for Interior Affairs and a Cabinet member; Gen. Hamad Othman al-Duhay, director of operations at the General Administration of Civil Defense; and Capt. Khamis al-Marrikhi, an officer with the Investigation and Rescue Team, said all of those who died in the Monday fire were from other countries, including the Philippines, Japan, Spain and South Africa.

The Qatar Tribune reported Tuesday six boys and seven girls who attended the Gympanzee nursery school in the mall were among the 19 fatalities. Four women who were teachers at the nursery school also died, along with two firefighters, the newspaper said.

Seventeen others who were injured were receiving medical treatment at Hamad General Hospital in Doha.

The Tribune said al-Thani hailed the efforts of the firefighters, rejecting allegations some had refused to enter the inferno.

The mall will remain close pending the investigation.

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