Fire At A Kuwait Wedding Kills 41 People, Leaves Many Injured
A fire that broke out inside a tent at a wedding in the town of al-Jahra near the capital of Kuwait has claimed the lives of 41 people late on Saturday. More than 70 people were injured, several are suffering from severe burns. All victims were women and children because traditionally wedding parties in Kuwait have men and women celebrating separately. Children are usually staying with women during such parties.
Some bodies of the victims could not be recognized, and the DNA tests have been commissioned to identify the victims. Authorities say it took three minutes for the entire tent to burn down. The lack of an emergency exit has been blamed for causing a stampede inside the tent.
"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.
The cause is still being investigated. Possibilities include faulty electrical wiring, a problem with the equipment used to warm the food buffet or the coals used for burning incense, al-Mansouri said.
The fire, the worst since Kuwait's independence from Britain almost five decades ago, happened in the town of al-Jahra, 30 miles to the west of Kuwait City.
The authorities have not released the name of the bride or groom, or said whether the bride survived. There were between 150 and 180 people inside the marquee at the time.