Ex-Wife Admits Arson At Kuwait Wedding: Death Toll Rises To 45
[UPDATE -- August 18, 2009] The death toll for the Kuwait wedding fire has now risen to 45.
Fire department chief Brig. Gen. Jassem al-Mansouri said four more victims died in hospital and six remained in critical condition.
The fire that killed 43 women and children at a wedding party in Kuwait late Saturday night was started by the ex-wife of the groom. Initially, the police listed faulty electrical wiring, a problem with the equipment used to warm the food buffet or the coals used for burning incense as potential causes of fire. It was also not immediately clear after the incident if the bride survived the fire.
In a new development today, a 23-year-old woman who claims to be the ex-wife of the groom, confessed to police that she started the fire by pouring petrol around the tent and setting it ablaze. It was later made known that the bride has actually survived, as she was still being prepared to appear in public and had not yet arrived at the party. Her mother and sister are believed to be among the dead, however.
A 23-year-old woman told police she used petrol to torch a packed women-only wedding tent in the city of Jahra on Saturday.
She said she did it to avenge her ex-husband's 'bad treatment' of her before their divorce, Al-Qabas newspaper reported.
Colonel Mohammad al-Saber, an interior ministry spokesman, said: "We have identified the perpetrator who confessed to committing the crime for personal reasons."