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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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13 children dead in Qatar shopping mall fire

Nineteen people were killed in the blaze earlier today, and another 17 were injured.

Emergency vehicles stand outside the Villaggio Mall
Emergency vehicles stand outside the Villaggio Mall
Image: AP Photo/Osama Faisal

THIRTEEN CHILDREN ARE among 19 people killed in a fire that broke out at one of the Qatar’s fanciest shopping malls today.

Authorities announced the death toll on the interior ministry’s Twitter page.

Four teachers and two civil defense officials were among the dead, the ministry said.

Another 17 people, mostly rescue workers, were injured, according to authorities.

Witnesses earlier reported thick black smoke that could be seen pouring from the ritzy Villaggio mall in Doha around midday. The Interior Ministry said the fire was extinguished hours later.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Family members of victims of a fire react in grief after a fire took hold of the Villaggio Mall, in Doha’s west end (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

The Villaggio opened in 2006 and is one of Qatar’s most popular shopping and amusement destinations. It includes an ice skating rink and indoor Venice-style gondola rides.

New construction projects such as the Villaggio have transformed the face of once-sleepy Doha in recent years, as the country benefits from a hydrocarbon boom. The OPEC member state is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Qatar won the right to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup a year and a half ago.

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Associated Press

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