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Black Monday

I know that I shouldn't be making assumptions and whatnot (and I'm not) while investigations are being carried out on the recent fire at the Villagio Mall in Doha, Qatar but hey, I can't help thinking about it. It did kill 19 people including 13 children after all. According to some media reports, the water sprinklers and fire alarm systems were not working, and the floor planning made it a Herculean task for help to reach the nursery on the first floor. Also killed were some teachers and fire department personnels. 


Pix from here 
I was watching some videos of this incident on YouTube. Endless clouds of black smoke spiralled wildly over the mall's roof and there were some clips on rescuers carrying out children who seemed lifeless. What a tragedy. Imagine finding your kid dead in a diaper just hours after you've fed and sent him to a nursery. I've walked in that mall so many times before, and every time I did, I've always silently wondered about fire exits and water sprinklers for some reason. Maybe it's just me, but I'm vary of fire exits at the places I go to.  


Think about it. If only regular checks and maintenance were carried out and everything was in proper working order, there shouldn't be a need for the black incident to occur. It was a fire in a mall, not a tsunami on a desert. You can't even blame god for this. 

Comments

  1. That is awful, shows what happens though when people get lax at their job. No need for it though as you said.

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    1. exactly. no need for it to happen and take lives, Pat.

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  2. This is so horrible to read about Jaya, I'm sorry that something as horrendous as that happened in your community. Rest in peace to all those poor victims, here's hoping they'll work hard to ensure a tragedy like this can be avoided in future.

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    1. actually it's not in my community, Matthew. this happened in Doha, Qatar, but i do go there every now and then. it is sad nevertheless.

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  3. Were there really no fire exits? They ought to have been automatically included in a new type of building like a mall.

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    1. i guess there are, GB. but for saving efforts to be hindered resulting in so many being killed unneccesarily like that, whatever exit or precautions there were, were not friendly enough ?

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  4. Preventable tragedies are so much worse – leave so many questions, so many “what ifs?” The loss of a child – I can’t even imagine such anguish.

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    1. that's right, Beth. it's much worse. and its horrible when people keep pointing fingers to each other.

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  5. The fire alarms, water sprinklers and fire doors with a Fire Retention Period of at least 1 hour etc are packaged in what is known as fixed installations which in our country are required for places of mass assembly such as malls, schools and high rise buildings under the Uniform Building By Law of 1984.
    The inspection of such installations come under the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, and high-rise buildings are required by law to have not only a designated floor for the monitoring of the installations but also a suitably qualified safety officer who oversees the regular checks on a monthly basis while the fire services provides the concurrence checks on a quarterly basis.
    Laws are in place and the design is such that the overlap of legislation and engineering should plug gaps, but the assurance of such watertight surveilance is subject to the relationship between both, the governing body and the proprietor of the premise.
    The UBBL, apart from providing the minimum standard of fire prevention measures also include the specification for means of escape from places of mass assembly in the event of a fire, replete with ventilated stairwells to delay the mushrooming of debilitating fumes into the means of escape.
    Therefore all in all, we are, as it were, adequately covered.
    I trust that such laws exist in any country, and the efficacy of the laws are subject to the degree of deviation between legislature and enforcement.

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    1. thanks for that summary on our safety law, Hobbit. it's a refreshing re-cap :)
      we have good laws in many sectors in our country. but when it comes to enforcement, haha. that's a different issue :) if only enforcement was good, we'd have less issues if you know what i mean.
      hope you're well, Hobbit :)

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  6. I have lived in the middle east and without sounding horrible their health and safety standards are really low. It is this third world view point but with oil money pumped in to it. I know a lot of Arabs over there pull out without looking saying to themselves ' If im going to die, then that is Gods will'.

    Sad to think of the people who died, i have seen the size of the malls over there and getting to an exit is a huge task.

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    1. tell me about it, Jon. i've heard horror stories myself. safety is always taken for granted...you can start by observing their driving ethics. i thought malaysians were bad, buy they're beyond that. children roam around the interior while the vehicle is mobile, no seat belts, talking and texting on the phone, speeding, its crazy.

      yeah. to think of exits during an emergency in those malls...they're huge.

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  7. It's definitely a tragedy that innocent people always pay the price because of the negligence of others. I hope that I'm never in either position.

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    1. i have the same hope for me, Azra.

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    2. And I have the same hope for all three of us...

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  8. That is tragic, it's one thing to not be up to par on some things but safety should always be the first priority. Especially for a highly visited/populated building. Well someone is going to have to live with that guilt now. I feel sorry for the families and people who didn't make it out.

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    1. yeah. i feel sorry for the families too. i cant imagine what they must be through at the moment. i can just imagine all the pointing of fingers that's prpbably going on now with the enquiry and all.

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  9. Yeah it sounds like sensible planning and prevention could have easily made this event non-existent. The only fires that kill a good number of people here are in those cramped up nightclubs.

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    1. there is a nighclub here at a popular hotel, which i just refuse to go to after the first time. i was looking around and if there ever was a fire, everyone is going to end up dead in there. it's bad. my friends thin, i'm paranoid but i'm just being observant.

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  10. that is sad...it's awful when things like this are so preventable

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  11. Anonymous30 May, 2012

    Let me just share with you this Malar..many years ago I read an interesting story. The Arabs had bought brand new M-60 Tanks from the USA, the tanks started breaking down one after another within a month, the Arabs called the Yankees and told them that they had been cheated. The Americans were puzzled, the M60 has had very good records thus far..the Yankees arrived at the main tank depot..guess what they found..the Eyerabs had failed to change the sand filters..hence there was no oxygen being fed to the engine followed by no combustion..and the tanks did not move. Thats my 1/2 cents worth..stay safe in Kay-Hell!

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    1. hello Danny. that's quite a story there. i wonder how the Arabs reacted after that ! hope you and everyone else is well back home. Kay-Hell's been driving me sick but i'll be fine. thanks !

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  12. the US has many laws in place to help prevent this tragedy from happening (again)

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    1. its all lack of enforcement and taking things for granted. apparently the nursery was never issued a license to operate but they still operated openly till the fire.

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  13. How tragic. I don't even know what to say.

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    1. there are no words for this i guess, MP

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  14. tragic
    regular checks and maintenance would have saved

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    1. welcome here ,SM
      yeah, i agree.

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  15. How terribly sad and senseless. I can't even bear to think of those poor parents who lost their little ones.

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    1. the poor parents. it's ridiculous. just ridiculous, Susan

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  16. This is really tragic. Seriously, I bet some things were overlooked to save a few bucks.

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    1. yeah, that. and i think the general attitude to safety over there.

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  17. That's right. You can't even blame God for this. I don't go to malls very often, but the first thing I do when I go the movies is locate the exits.

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    1. geez, RC. you're just as paranoid as i am.

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    2. Why, thank you. I love a good compliment.

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  18. As a parent, that chills me to the bone. So very sad and unnecesary.

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  19. I've always wondered what would happen in a mall/crowded building in case of a fire. I mean you know where the exits are and all, but with all the pushing and the crowd screaming and all, it'll be just chaotic.

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