Sunday, August 16, 2009

45 MORE Women Die in Jahra Wedding Tent Fire

This is the 2nd such tragedy in the past 6 months - both times in Jahra. This one made headlines on CNN. LINK Perhaps now - to save face - the government will do something. Usually, things get done around here as soon as there is global bad press.

What I don't get is this: While authorities spend time raiding "immoral" flats across Kuwait, and in recent years, breaking up parties at tents in the desert; tragedies like this continue to occur.

If some of those same authorities spent time checking for safety measures at mass tent gatherings like weddings, maybe so many people wouldn't die or be horrifically maimed. Perhaps these fires happen at men's tents as well, but maybe the men are better equipped to escape (?) Kuwait: Land without statistics. I don't know.

Tents in Kuwait are made of cotton, not flame retardant material. That means one little spark - regardless of the ignition point - and the whole thing goes up in minutes.

Personally, I think that the next time I go to any big event in a tent, I'm taking a long, sharp knife with me. Maybe that's what they should do - keep knives in glass cases as they do with the pull fire alarms: "break in case of emergency".

The paper said that there were fire extinguishers, but maybe people didn't know where they were or how to use them. Personally, I've NEVER seen a tent in Kuwait equipped with a fire extinguisher; I've seen a lot more with open flames and some even with charcoal fires in them or dodgy space heaters.

Why can't the wedding tents be made to code: Smoke detectors? Flame retardant materials? Lit marking for emergency exits? Hotel banquet halls must conform to fire and safety requirements - why not wedding tents?

Its so sad and so PREVENTABLE. My thoughts go out to the families who have lost or injured mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins...

8 comments:

Daggero said...

Until they make all these safety items available the Government should ban (we are good at banning ) all celeberations in tents .

Desert Girl said...

Daggero - I agree with that. That's a really good idea. Maybe the government could subsidize weddings at hotels/banquet halls.

Anonymous said...

The simple answer is not having only one exit. Clearly marked (with lit signs that don't depend on the power supply) multiple exits from any room makes for a safer room. I've done some Safety Engineering in my career and one of the wisest advice ever given to me was when going into a room, take like 10 seconds and locate the exits. if the exits don't feel safe, don't go in or at least don't venture far from them.

nYx said...

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/kuwaitnews/pagesdetails.asp?nid=36010&ccid=18

Sickening!

Desert Girl said...

Thanks anonymous 10:46 am. Regardless or the number of exits, the fire swept through the tent in Jahra in 3 minutes. It was hot enough to melt shoes to the asphalt. My mother gave me the same advice you did when I was a kid - no engineering necessary. Unfortunately, I have been places in life where I didn't feel comfortable and probably shouldn't have stayed anyways.

Imtiaz said...

The Solution to this to build Community Halls maintained by the municipalities and charge a nominal fee for the usage...

Desert Girl said...

Imtiaz - There are wedding halls located in every neighborhood in Kuwait.

waleedan said...

to kill 44 it's nothing according to Al Qabas News Paper, each moth Kuwait lose 74 killed in the street accident, I hope that some one talk about this issue in the hmmmm what do they call it Perelman