Balcony collapse in Doha crushes three cars, sparks fear

June 6, 2011
By

The aftermath of the incident - The Peninsula

Three cars were crushed when a balcony of a twin villa in Doha collapsed, jolting residents out of sleep while the deafening noise was mistaken for a bomb explosion. The incident has also sparked a wave of concern that more collapses could follow.

“We were awakened by a big explosion in the neighbourhood at around 2:30am,” a resident of the compound said. “We thought it was a bomb. We all rushed outside and were shocked at the sight of the debris and the three vehicles that were totally crushed. The damage was extensive,” the resident said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula.

Two cars and a van were smashed under the impact of the heavy concrete that fell on them. The twin villas were joined by a balcony and the area beneath served as a car park.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident as the twin villas were unoccupied. Since nobody lived in the villas, some of the residents parked their cars under the balcony, the daily said.

“Everybody in the compound is frightened now. We are concerned about the safety of our children and property,” a woman said, adding that the possibility of other balconies caving in was not remote.

“We have complained to the management but it seems that action is very slow, so this is the result. We want higher authorities to send an expert to check the safety of our homes — whether they are still safe to be inhabited,” he said.

An engineer said the right material might not have been used in the construction of the villas, resulting in the collapse of the balcony.

The villas were built a decade ago, but some have cracks.

“The cracks are noticeable. One resident told me the balcony of his villa does not seem safe. Therefore, he is very scared.”

The management of the compound pledged to “get the damaged villas repaired,” the daily said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/balcony-collapse-in-doha-crushes-three-cars-sparks-fear-1.818066

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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