Qatari shopping mall fire kills 19, mainly children (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The fire broke out in a daycare room at the Villagio Mall in the west of the city. Local media showed the building engulfed in smoke.
Evacuation was complicated by the building's narrow corridors and the quickly propagating fire, Qatar's Interior Minister told journalists.
Fire fighters tried to reach children through the roof, as the staircase leading to the daycare room had already collapsed by the time they arrived.
Some reports claim fire alarms failed to go off when the fire started.
It is also known that almost all of those killed had foreign citizenship. There were children of Spanish, Japanese, South African, Philippine and other citizenships. Three teachers were of Philippine citizenship, and one was from an African country.
The Villagio Mall opened in 2006 and is one of Qatar's most popular shopping and amusement centers. The mall includes a hotel, an ice skating rink and indoor Venice-style gondola rides.
AFP Photo / Faisal Al-Tamimi
AFP Photo / Stringer
One of the survivors recieves medical care outside Doha's Villaggio Mall after a fire broke out inside the Gulf emirate's upscale shopping centre on May 28, 2012 (AFP Photo / Faisal Al-Tamimi)
Emergency personnel evacuate a person via helicopter during a fire at the Villagio Mall, in Doha's west end, May 28, 2012. (Reuters / Stringer)