39 workers rescued from burning Qatar building

June 9, 2012

A second major fire has broken out in Qatar, but this time the 39 workers trapped in the under-construction high-rise building have been rescued.

An interior ministry spokesman said the blaze started in the early evening on Tuesday in the lower levels of the building at the Pearl-Qatar, the mixed community man-made island.

“The fire started in the lower floors of the building while workers were still on the upper floors. Rescuers were able to reach them and evacuate them,” the ministry said on its Twitter account.

Rescue personnel used special mobile cranes to evacuate the trapped workers who had been asked to assemble on the 13th floor of Building No 21 in Viva Bahriya District.

After the last worker was brought down, a team of firemen launched a floor by floor search to ensure no one was trapped inside or left behind.

“It is one of the many buildings under construction, and was located at a distance from the housing and recreation areas of Pearl-Qatar,” the ministry said. A number of fire engines, water tankers and ambulances were rushed to the place and drivers and people were urged not to hinder rescue efforts and to help the vehicles and their teams reach the place without any problem.

“Fire at a building under construction in Pearl-Qatar. The concerned authorities are containing the fire. Those in the area are [Pearl-Qatar] requested to make way for the firefighters and other authorities to contain fire,” the interior ministry posted on its Twitter account as the rescue efforts were launched. “Gathering at accident site just out of curiosity will hinder fire operations. Cooperate with officers and follow their instructions.”

The interior ministry subsequently used its Twitter account to describe what was happening. “By the grace of Allah a considerable number of workers have been rescued using mobile escalators,” the ministry initially posted.

“The fire is under control. 10 workers have been rescued so far and they are in good healthy condition. Remaining are being rescued,” it posted minutes later. “26 workers have been rescued so far” was posted next, followed by “The fire at a building in construction in the Pearl has been contained. 39 rescued. Operations for cooling the place is being completed.”

The ministry said that it was grateful to those who helped with the rescue efforts. “Thanks for all those followed us tonight and cooperated with us in conveying truths.” Praise was heaped on the ministry for its use of social networks to communicate the progress of the rescue efforts to the public. “Ministry doing a wonderful job, updating us through tweets, feels good to hear about 37 rescued workers!” Fawaz Mohammad remarked.

The Pearl fire broke out a few hours after a panel tasked with looking into Doha’s Villaggio Mall blaze, in which 13 children and six adults died, presented its findings to Crown Prince Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani who had set it up.




About the author

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

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