Kuwait wedding fire death toll rises to 49 - official

Two more people die weeks after horrific blaze in wedding tent in Jahra.
Kuwait wedding fire death toll rises to 49 - official
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 10 Sep 2009 08:12 AM

The death toll from last month's horrific wedding tent fire in Kuwait has risen to 49, Kuwait's Ministry of Interior has said.

The General Department of Criminal Evidence has revealed that two more injured victims of the deadly fire in the city of Jahra, west of Kuwait City, have died since the incident on August 15, KUNA news agency reported.

According to Interior Ministry spokesperson Colonel Mohammed Al-Sabr, there were a total of 80 people injured in the fire, the victims of which were all women and children.

Last month, 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.

It 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 held the wedding organisers responsible for these shortcomings, saying that they had failed to observe basic safety measures that could have prevented the tragedy from taking place.

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