Large sections of plaster from Landmark Mall’s ceiling collapsed last night, injuring some shoppers.
The incident took place in a particularly busy part of the mall, near the entrance to the food court and children’s play area, and outside of Argo Tea Cafe and Starbucks Cafe.
Ahmed Hassna, security manager, told Doha News that two people were injured – a woman was hit on the shoulder by some of the plaster and a baby was hit on the hand. They were taken by ambulance to Hamad Hospital but discharged within hours, he added.
Speaking to Doha News, Emma Louise Kennedy, who was at the mall at the time of the accident, said:
“When I was walking out (of the mall) the fire alarm started. I started to run out but no one even moved. Everyone seemed to make their way to where the accident was.”
Her sister, Anna Kennedy, said she was walking out of the food court when she heard a loud crash:
“People began to run over and I started to see children crying so I ran over. There was a lot of debris on the floor and people were watching over from Opera cafe. I don’t believe anyone was hurt, not that I had seen. I think people had just got a fright. The security were great, they got everyone away from the area and were quick in doing so. Then the alarms went off and everyone was ushered out of the mall.”
She added that an entire ceiling panel had fallen down, from Haagen Dazs to Argo Cafe.
The mall was operating normally this morning. Parts of the affected area were closed off, but the floor was clean of any debris.
Several security guards were on the scene, preventing visitors from taking photos.
According to one guard, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning would be visiting the mall today to inspect the decorative plaster and the false ceiling that collapsed.
Hassna said the plaster was about 14 years old.
This is the second time Landmark has seen such an accident in recent years.
In April 2013, the ceiling at the Haagen Dazs ice cream shop in Landmark Mall caved in. In part because the incident happened early on a weekday morning, no one was injured.
No official statement was made about what happened, but the shop was closed for several months for renovations before reopening.
Photos of last night’s incident, which Anna Kennedy said took place around 8:45pm, quickly went viral online.
The collapse has apparently sparked renewed questions about mall safety in Qatar.
What's really wrong with Malls in Qatar ? #SafeyInAir
— michu10 (@michu10) January 14, 2015
Landmark has the same ownership as Villaggio Mall, where a deadly fire killed 19 people, including 13 children, in May 2012.
A Doha court convicted the mall’s chairman and general manager of involuntary manslaughter in those deaths due to safety breaches, but the case is now in appeals.
On Twitter, the Ministry of Interior said that Civil Defense was acting to ensure safety after last night’s accident:
Civil Defence acts on safety measures after collapse of a section of plaster from ceiling at Landmark mall. #MoI_Qatar
— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) January 14, 2015
It happened around 8:35 and not 10 so it was very busy. The ceiling collapsed without warning and stirred up a lot of dust. I didn’t notice any adults hurt, but a baby carrying basket was overturned and a dad rushed the baby inside the tea shop. Hope the baby came out ok! Most of the people started to congregate just under the rest of the ceiling that had not yet collapsed and were gawking. The security guards were slow to cordon off the area and people were still allowed to go there a minute or two after the collapse. In fact, the guards were just using the few benches they found around to keep people out! As I left the mall a minute or so after the collapse, the evacuation alarm was sounded. Scary that no immediate response procedures are still in place despite the numerous incidents. That minute or two was enough for the rest of the ceiling to cave, possibly hurting dozens of people in the process.
Poor building construction indeed.
Nope not bad at all , Mall was built before the rush and shady sub contractors
Classic Qatar mentality, “if an alarm goes off you must instantly rush to the scene, stand in big groups, stare at the damage and the injured whilest impeding the emergency personnel who are trying to help those in need”
It’s not just Qatar mentality. Its what we all do. I bought a smartphone so I could report such incidents and update my status and post a pic to Instagram and go all #OMG #Qatar #ceilingfall #LandmarkMall #injured #badsecurity #nevergoingthereagain etc. The only real difference of course being the security personnel is more effective and well-trained in other countries in keeping people away.
Actually it’s human nature. its called the ‘bystander’ effect.
Classic Mentality for all human beings dont shove it on Qatar populace ..
Actually it’s human nature. its called the ‘bystander’ effect. It’s quite normal for people to stand by and do nothing.
Incredible, how cheap and crappy must the building quality be to fall apart after so few years. The same could happen in other buildings under construction now, where the only objective seems to be cheap cheap cheap
few years? it is 15 years .. lack of maintenance yes but not poor quality
If you think 15 years is a lot for such a building, that’s a problem, even if maintenance wasn’t great
as i said above Lack of maintenance yes 🙂 , any super high quality in Qatar environment or in middle east in general needs special maintenance than other countries
You seem very insistent that there has been a lack of maintenance – can i ask how you know that it hasn’t been maintained in 15 years? Do you know if the contractor has a maintenance clause in their contract? Has no maintenance been undertaken throughout the building, or just the ceilings?
Can you also advise me of the maintenance of the other malls in Doha – i’m planning on vising City Centre this weekend – do you know when it was last maintained?
depends on which group or company that operates City center 🙂
Ok, you know best, it’s amazing quality and only problem is lack of maintenance
the part which fell is plaster , even in my home plaster cracks and falls .. oh wait my home is cheap i guess…
yes must be very cheap, best to get out of there asap before it collapses
We’re not talking about paint chipping but a portion of the ceiling falling off! Super high quality indeed
How do you MAINTAIN a CEILING?!
Sadam, please, don’t argue with experts, the ceiling is super high quality, it just wasn’t maintained, that’s all we need to know
AeroFoiler answered it 🙂 no need for your sarcasm mr.Jaded
Just Jaded, no need for formalities
it’s not about maintaining the ceiling, it’s about maintaining the integrity of the structure. Aerofoiler has the perfect response..” but if you start out with good material and building quality you don’t expect a part of the ceiling to come off even after 8 or 15 years, and I’m not talking about paint, but a chunk of the structure”
You an expert? Hahahahaha
No, silly, Jamal is the expert. Duh.
By carrying out regular checks of the building infrastructure, but unfortunately that’s not the trend here.
The villa that I stay in for the last 8 years has paint peeled of on the outside. When i moved in it was brand new. But the owner doesn’t understand that more than the aesthetics, it is the life of building which will be prolonged if keeps the paint intact, as it is waterproofing the building structure.
that’s all well and fine, but if you start out with good material and building quality you don’t expect a part of the ceiling to come off even after 8 or 15 years, and I’m not talking about paint, but a chunk of the structure
15 years is nothing at all. My house in the UK was 150 years old, with original ceilings. This is down to shoddy workmanship, incorrect specifications and employing unqualified labourers
Unless you are an expert and have been exposed to a number of construction sites in Qatar, you cannot be the judge of the quality of the structures here. You will be appalled. Some structures may “appear” to look good on the outside but quality….yes they are really POOR!!!
Talk about ticking time bombs…They employ a few good and qualified professionals but they are outnumbered by lazy idiots running construction sites. Add poor planning, sub-standard materials, cheap unqualified labor and voila! Disaster!
Consultant and Contractors or sub-contractors should be given disciplinary action…and the owner should impose penalty damage to responsible contractors!
owner fault yes for not maintaining but not Contractors .. building is 15 years old ..
Did you see the Sheraton Post Office ceilings falling off? 🙂
why did you think they closed post office parking lot ?
the answers here really amuses me ..
FYI this is newly built…that was MEXX before..owner has no liability for the damage but the contrator has full liability even they handover to the onwer…
Get your information CORRECTLY MEXX OR NOT the Building was built in year 2000 and had several expansions , its not new building ..
Construction contracts have a defects liability period following handover usually of 400 days so it would depend when this ceiling was installed and if it was still within this period.
Jamal Al Yafei are you an Architect or Engineer?
He’s from mall management I suppose 😀
i wish i was from mall managment at least i would live a luxurious life
i don’t need to be neither of those to provide you information available from the owner group website …
under a landmark in Doha History
I’m sure if there is someone to blame they and the mall owners will be held accountable and be punished accordingly in qatar’s efficient judicial system.
well said Bursin , its for sure the owner fault … at least you are one the people who know what they are talking about ..
Yep, they can add another sentence onto the six years he already received for the villagio fire
Thanks Dohanews for letting us know that it is the same management as Villagio. It says a lot about competition and monopoly rules in this country 🙂
That’s it. I will never ever go to villagio and landmark mall. Any other malls owned by the owner of these 2 malls.
well said , we need more people to really boycott rather than saying and going there 🙂
i second your statment , im boycotting both Landmark and villagio & any other store owned by that company .
You will be hurting all the staff who work there, all the businesses there, all the owners of franchises, not the owners of the Malls- they still receive the rents.. I understand your attitude, but making your voice heard in media is a far better way, write to the Ministry, write to Civil Defense.
yes and those shops should care for thier staff lives and safety , goverment wont move if there is not enough pressure from tenants ..
True that we’ll be hurting the staff who works there… but do you gamble your life and health, or your family, against the well-being of others who are being paid for it. The owners have to realize that they need to protect the safety of their shoppers in their malls – or face the repercussion.
As Brother Saeed Ahmad Khan said , we should really Boycott that company and at least show solidarity to other companies to take saftey seriously .
i am as one will boycot Landmark / Villagio from now on ..
Ok, so which malls do you represent so we can be sure to go there
i dont represent any malls , if i do , i wont be even here 🙂
LOL your such a troll
I don’t want to boycott it. But it’s my personal comment for the safety of my wife and baby. Boycott and you still see plenty of visitors who still go to these malls. Those who are concerned about the safety will avoid going. I want to know 2 things. 1) which other malls do these owner own and 2) how many such buildings are there in qatar with poor construction.
Doha news revert back please.
Yes Doha news, please do a complete structural survey of every building in the country. Update us on a regular basis (with pics) should you find any offenders. By tomorrow latest. Once that’s done, follow that with an ownership listing of every mall so you can go around and knock on the doors of those individuals and check them too. Best stick with McN’s comment, at least that makes sense. Much more dangerous to get in your car every day than ever it would be to stroll in a mall.
It’s pretty alarming that in the last several years there have been more than a few significant construction-/not being up to code-problems with various public buildings here in Doha. This is not an isolated occurrence, and everyone should be concerned about that.
1. Villago and Landmark is owned and managed by the same person. ارواح عيالنا مو لعبة بيدكم…
2. Why on earth do people take pictures and videos instead of evacuating.
Google translate bounced back with “Mo souls iPedro game in your hands”…
Our children lives are not for you to comprimise .. Basically
“Our children’s souls are not toys in your hands”
it translates as “our children’s souls are not a game in your hands”
I couldn’t have put it better myself, it would make a great hashtag to get the government listening on what needs to be done!
” our children’s lives are not a toy in your hands”
Same reason why 99% of drivers slow down to stare at a roadside accident…………………….morbid curiosity to hopefully see something shocking.
As it happens on my way to work yesterday there was a Karwa bus broken down in the hard shoulder of D ring. The LC in front of me drove into the back of a Prado when they slowed down to look at the bus.
While there is no certain way of “checking” every building in Qatar, I guess it’s safe to assume that if it’s a couple of years old it should be replaced. Perhaps having ready made malls standby and wheel them into position is a safer approach. Given the amount of money owners invest in these buildings perhaps more involvement in the process would limit the “corner cutters”.
There is a way of checking, that is by having a proper facilities management team employed by the owners to check their buildings thoroughly on a very regular basis. It’s good business sense, not only to keep the public safe, but also to avoid costly compensation claims and the bigger repair bill that comes with any kind of building failure.
The collapse happened at 8:35 my brother was on his way to get food while me and my mum were at carrefour and the celling almost hit him as he ran ,this really makes us question safety at doha malls
if you are afraid of the safety, dont go.
Court convicted them but still the malls run. If more such worse incident what next then for these Richie rich. Close down is the solution.
If you pay peanuts you get monkeys! (Though I doubt contractors are being paid peanuts..)
Some don’t pay peanuts but employ monkeys though 😛
Why is everyone so worried about the malls when the roads are so dangerous?
because you’d like to think that if you make it to the mall alive you should be safe there
Yeah – but I’d like to think the same about the roads!
Public opinion on safety at Qatar’s Malls has now reached a ceiling. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
I wish those who were injured a speedy and complete recovery.
Actually parts of it began to fall near the elevator beside the Virgin store – a month ago.
If plaster begins to crumble like that it is only a matter of time before it falls away so not really surprised.
(You don’t have to work in construction to know that’s how fragile plaster is)
Truth is if management were made aware of this a month ago it should have been fixed immediately but instead it has to come to this for somebody to take notice…
Shame it always has to result in somebody injured for it to be taken serious.
I’m a Chartered Building Surveyor, this should never of happened. With proper maintenance and ongoing defect diagnosis, this ceiling would never have come down. If you know (as the management did know) that part if the ceiling was failing in another part of the mall, the first thing you ought to do is inspect the rest of the ceilings throughout to check their condition. Had they done this, then they would have identified the problem and taken the defective ceiling down before it collapsed or blocked the area off.
I’m my personal opinion, the manage my are at fault as they had a heightened duty of care to their customers the moment they knew the ceiling elsewhere was defective a month ago, yet they did nothing.
Truth is something really bad is coming this way – and it will be highlighted all over the world.
Not sure what of course (I’m not a fortune teller) but something is coming and it is going to shock the world.
It will shame Qatar into action and we will all applaud how great changes were made as a result but say that to the poor people who will pay the price (usually with their lives) and it will soon be brushed under the rug.
Regarding my previous comment – You are right McN – I should have notified somebody but then again that’s not for me to say and I would have only been dismissed for making such a “ridiculous” comment/statement to the management.
Then again if I had to wait for somebody to tell me I was not doing my job correctly well I wouldn’t be here.
Imagine a pilot in midair or a surgeon mid surgery ignoring their post and responsibilities to the people who depend on them.
Every education system across the world still has to implement a new form of exam – I call it the “Common Sense” exam – if people fail it they should be culled, you may be surprised by how many people would fail it.
Remember the clothing factory collapsing in Bangladesh a few months ago, the same will happen here.
I work in a building that was built 4 years ago and every floor is filled but the irony is they are still building it over and over again (oh sorry “maintaining it”) because it wasn’t done the first time.
I imagine in 2030 the “unveiling of Qatar’s vision” to the world – the big turn out, the applauding fans and back clapping, the over sized scissors to cut the maroon ribbon and just then the entire Doha skyline collapses.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Qatar but my confidence is starting to fade, shame really.
Structures such as this were never properly inspected for quality when they were built. What type of plaster was used, what type of water used to mix and apply it, etc. Nowadays after a few such incidences, buildings are better, but due to the building boom, compounds and villas are still being rushed into sevice. There are still too few inspectors qualified to inspect these buildings on an ongoing basis.
In the Middle East building elements and fittings are subject to enormous strains from the range of temperatures they are subjected to, and which can impact on their stability, especially so if the fixings are not designed to take it into account. On the other hand it could have just been inadequately designed and constructed.
There are buildings which are more than 30 years old here. The quality of them surpasses the so called super luxurious apartments being built nowadays
I don’t do religion, so DohaNews Muslim friends please help….do Muslims believe that God willed the ceiling to collapse, or do they believe that it was God’s will for the people to be injured? If so, surely an omnipotent creator of the universe could at the very least deal with occasional ceiling maintenance? Or is it too distracted with cartoons at the moment?
Congratulations! your intellect seems far above your peers. As you don’t do religion, why would you bother about God’s will?
You’ll find the answer eventually, but it maybe too late, as you seem to be too distracted to notice that God exists.
I was hoping for a few more specifics about God’s will to be honest, DJ25Q…..by the way, which God? There seem to be lots of them….very confusing.
Ouch your words hurt my religion
This shouldn’t be posted under “Life”. This should be posted under “Death”.
That is so stupid
I hope this gets patched up soon and we can carry on with our lives :((