Kuwait wedding blaze death toll rises to 55

Interior ministry confirms that another attendee has died from injuries sustained in blaze.
Kuwait wedding blaze death toll rises to 55
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 18 Oct 2009 06:02 PM

The number of deaths related to wedding tent fire in Jahra, Kuwait in August has increased to 55, an official said on Sunday.

In a statement to KUNA News Agency, the Interior Ministry's spokesman Colonel Mohammad Al-Sabr said one further person had succumbed to their injuries sustained in the blaze, which was started deliberately.

He expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the recently deceased.

There were around 80 people injured in the fire, which occurred on August 15. They were mostly women and children.

The fire gutted a wedding tent in the district of Al-Jahra, north of the capital.

In August, the Kuwait Fire Service Department's (KFSD) final report on the fire highlighted a number of "gross errors".

It also confirmed that the cause of the fire that led to the deaths earlier this month was arson.

The report emphasised the importance of enforcing the requirement for obtaining licences for events held in marquees for any purpose to avoid such tragedies from occurring in the future.

The report said that investigations conducted by KFSD experts at the scene of the blaze concluded that the fire was deliberately started, with evidence of flammable substances discovered there.

The KFSD's report also listed a number of errors in the marquee's layout and supplies that worsened the situation, such as the lack of more than one entrance, the presence of large amounts of inflammable items and overcrowding.

The report proposed that a number of measures be introduced to prevent such horrific events from recurring, such as banning the holding of weddings in unlicensed tents.

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