Thursday, 31 May 2012

Villagio Doha Fire

DOHA - Firefighters in Qatar told Wednesday how they tried to rescue 13 children trapped by a blaze in a shopping mall nursery but found most already dead, huddled in the arms of two fellow firemen who died in the rescue bid.

All 19 people killed in the inferno at Doha's Villagio mall on Monday were foreigners, including the two fire fighters as well as 13 children and four teachers.

The authorities have ordered that the mall's owner and four of its senior staff be arrested, reports said.

As smoke and flames engulfed the nursery, two of the four teachers sent farewell text messages and made their final calls to family letting them know they would not be coming home.

"I'm dying," one of the three Filipino teachers trapped in the fire told her aunt in a text message before she succumbed, her friend Marilyn Evangelista told the Al-Jazeera satellite news channel.

Another teacher, also from the Philippines, called her husband to tell him that she and the children were "trapped, the smoke is too thick," according to Evangelista, who then broke down in tears.

Abdel Khaleq al-Huwari, one of dozens of firemen who responded to the blaze, told AFP that the rescue teams were not informed of the existence of a nursery in the mall "until half an hour after" they arrived on the scene.

He said that a mall employee eventually told them that there was a nursery on the first floor of the complex.

read on.....


I was saddened when reading about this few days ago, and only have opportunity to write about it today. I feel strongly, the need as parents, to make sure this news reached parents anywhere at all.
The place we sent our children for play or nursery are well built and are equipped with extra measures to prepared and minimise the risk of fire and other catastrophe such as this.

I can't help but keep on imagining the frighten, screaming and crying of the 13 young children awaiting to be blanketed by the furious fire... and the parents waiting exasperatedly and praying for miracle outside the building for their kids to be saved from the furious fire.
 As a mother myself , only God knows the feeling of the New Zealander couple who had lost three of their children one go...

May God bless their souls

Nineteen succumbed to their death due to few people negligence and 'don't-care-attitude' and I'm sure those apprehended shall be responsible for the lives lost.
As one of such parents, when back home, I will sometimes drop my child together with friends or cousins to kids play area such as this which had been one of a feature in shopping complexes this past years; I will definitely be more cautious on the place I will sent them next time. And definitely will not leave them more than half an hour unattended.