Kuwait wedding fire killed 41 people in 3 minutes

August 16, 2009 20:43

A fire that tore through a wedding tent outside Kuwait's capital killed 41 women and children in just three minutes, leaving behind shoes melted to the ground and bodies so blackened they were unrecognizable, the fire chief said Sunday. Guests likely crushed one another in a desperate attempt to flee through the only exit, he said. The devastating fire was likely to result in restrictions on the tradition of holding celebrations in such tents, a custom which is rooted in Kuwait's nomadic heritage and endures in tribal areas of the country. Saturday night's blaze in al-Jahra, west of Kuwait City, was the deadliest the country's fire department chief has seen in four decades of service, he said. "It was a horrific scene with bodies and many shoes stuck to the ground at the only exit. They must have trampled over one another," Brig. Gen. Jassem al-Mansouri said.

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