Scores die in Kuwait wedding fire

Blaze at ceremony kills 41 women and children and injures more than 70 others.

    The authorities were running DNA tests to identify the 35 women and six children killed in the fire, which left many victims unrecognisable.

    Relatives and onlookers had crowded the area around the blazing tent, which had been engulfed in less than two minutes.

    No emergeny exit

    Saad al-Anezi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kuwait, said the fire was the country's biggest disaster in 40 years.

    "The tent, in an enclosed surrounding, did not have any emergency exit and it was made from a very flammable material - cotton," he said.

    Fire officials told Al Jazeera that the tent, which could have housed up to 180 people, had probably not been constructed to correct safety standards.

    The authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze and al-Mansouri said it could have been faulty electrical wiring, a problem with the equipment used to keep the wedding food buffet warm or the coals used for burning incense.

    Kuwait banned the use of wedding tents on Sunday.

    Wedding celebrations in Kuwait are held separately for men and women, with children attending the women's party.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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