Monday, August 17, 2009


Mournes at funeral of wedding fire victims
Funerals have been held for victims whose remains were identifiable

Kuwaiti police investigating a deadly blaze at a wedding tent that killed 43 women and children say the ex-wife of the groom has confessed to starting it.

The tent was consumed by flames in seconds in the worst civilian disaster in Kuwait's modern history.

Fire service officials said the tent had only one exit and did not meet fire safety regulations.

Media reports say the woman told police she had wanted to avenge ill-treatment by her husband before their divorce.

The al-Qabas newspaper said the 23-year-old had told police she used petrol to set fire to the packed and highly inflammable wedding tent on Saturday.

The victims were all women and children because traditionally wedding celebrations are segregated along gender lines.


The Kuwait Times newspaper reported that the groom's new bride had escaped injury but that her mother and a sister had died.

Some local newspapers have criticised the government over the blaze, which happened in the town of Jahra, saying its handling revealed failures in disaster response planning.

MPs criticised the fact that a law banning such tents in residential areas because of the safety risks is not properly enforced.

Most of the bodies were burned beyond immediate recognition, police said, and forensic officials were now working to identify the victims.

Ninety guests were injured in the blaze and ensuing stampede, and five burns victims are in a critical condition, medical officials say.




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