Skip to main content

5 detained in probe of deadly Qatar mall fire

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
Members of the Qatari civil defense prepare to bury a child in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday, May 29. A fire broke out at a shopping mall a day earlier, killing 19 people, including 13 children, officials said. Members of the Qatari civil defense prepare to bury a child in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday, May 29. A fire broke out at a shopping mall a day earlier, killing 19 people, including 13 children, officials said.
HIDE CAPTION
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
Deadly fire engulfs Qatar mall
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The mall's owner and the owner of the nursery are among those detained
  • 19 people died in the Monday blaze at the Villaggio shopping mall in Doha
  • 13 of the dead were children in the mall's nursery

(CNN) -- Five people, including the daughter of the Qatari culture minister, were ordered detained as authorities investigate a fire that killed 19 people at a Doha, Qatar, shopping mall, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported.

Thirteen of those who died in the Monday blaze were children in a nursery at the upscale Villaggio shopping mall.

Those detained at the order of the attorney general include the owner of the mall; the owner of the nursery; the mall's director and deputy director; and the mall's assistant director, the news agency reported Tuesday.

The nursery's owner is the daughter of Minister of Culture Iman Al Qawwari.

Committee to examine Qatar mall fire
Deadly fire sweeps through Qatar mall

The mall's security director and the official in charge of issuing licenses were among those summoned by the attorney general, QNA reported.

The government has set up a committee to investigate "the causes and circumstances" of the blaze, QNA said Monday night. It is also investigating complaints that sprinklers and alarms weren't working at the mall when the blaze broke out.

Mall fire: "Accident waiting to happen?"

Christine Wigton, an American living in Doha, told CNN she heard "a buzzer, not very loud" as she walked into the mall, but heard no loud alarms as smoke built up inside. Elementary school-age children were eating at some of the restaurants and no one was trying to escape, she said.

"There were no sprinklers, and there was nothing that would tell somebody that something was wrong," she said.

Built in 2006, the mall advertises itself as "the newest and the largest entertainment center in Doha." The Venice-themed complex features gondola rides down an indoor canal, an artificial sky, a 13-screen movie theater, a theme park, skating rink and a bowling alley.

Qatar's Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani, said earlier the civil defense office reviews safety standards for commercial buildings before they grant a license.

"The investigation will clarify all the circumstances of the incident and find out the shortcomings and question those who are responsible in order to tackle the matter in the future," he said in remarks carried by QNA.

Several of the dead were from Qatar's expatriate community.

The mall's website on Wednesday showed a picture of a black ribbon.

"We offer our deepest condolences to all the families of the victims and martyrs on duty who lost their lives in the fire," the site says. "May the departed souls rest in peace and may almighty Allah give fortitude to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT