New fire breaks out at Qatar's Villaggio Mall

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Last year's fire at Villaggio Mall (Credit: Twitter).

Last year's fire at Villaggio Mall (Credit: Twitter).

Qatar's Villaggio Mall, which last year suffered a deadly blaze that killed 19, was reportedly the scene of another fire on Wednesday afternoon.

In May 2012, 13 children died in the retail complex after an electrical fault caused a fire to break out at a children's nursery. Among the dead were two-year old triplets.

A shopper evacuated from Villlaggio on Wednesday told Arabian Business that the fire had originated near Entrance 2 of the mall in a clothing store. Qatar's Ministry of Interior's Arabic Twitter feed confirmed that a malfunctioning AC unit had caused the centre to be evacuated, with no injuries reported.

Earlier this week, Civil Defence conducted a fire drill at Villaggio to test its fire alarm systems.

The incident again raises questions over fire safety standards in the wealthy Gulf state, which will in 2022 host the FIFA World Cup.

Also on Wednesday, a fire broke out at Sidra Medical and Research Centre, the Ministry of Interior confirmed, with local media reports claiming that Civil Defence were still attempting to contain the blaze more than two hours after it started.

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Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: krishna kumar

When you choose to buy the cheapest products available, there is always risk. I hope at least now contractors study and evaluate product specs carefully before they choose. This is particularly important for lighting, air conditioning and other electrical equipment.

Posted by: Paolo C

Basically we can say, rich outside, poor inside.

Posted by: Saud

The thing about the GCC countries is that they have the power to get the best equipment and high levels of purchasing power is seen. However, when it comes to maintenance of the equipment, they end of up bringing the worst maintenance service ever because they dont want to pay. For some reason, GCC governments will pay tons for foreign equipment but when it comes to foreign human beings, they get the least qualified. The AC in this fire as the past electric fault are simple examples of poor maintenance.

Posted by: RAH

Along with Qatar, many centers in the Middle East lack safety standards. Our standards should be even higher than the West considering the heat level in this part and high use for AC units.

Just hope none were injured in this fire and the governments in this region start to take this risk at a more serious level for the sake of us all, especially our loved young AND elderly ones.

Posted by: Telcoguy

Taking safety seriously would mean bringing a level of well needed discipline and law enforcement to a population that is used to flaunt the rules "because it is my country"
Add to this that the consequences of malpractice may or may not appear in the future but the "benefits" show immediately and you have the wrong incentives in place (BP's mess in Deep Horizon makes a great example)
So, as much as I would like to see what you suggest happening, and as much as I believe this would be the best option in the long term for the GCC countries, I seriously doubt that any GCC government has the political will to do it and afford the short-term discontent

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