Excitement turned to panic turned to horror yesterday as word of a fire at Villaggio – and potential deaths – spread across Qatar.
After a frantic day of scrambling for news about what happened, who was hurt and how officials were handling the situation, the grim facts were finally announced: 19 dead – 13 children, four teachers and two civil defense officers.
But residents are waking up today with more questions than there are answers.
What was the cause of the fire? Why did it take so long to put out? Who will be held responsible for Villaggio’s malfunctioning sprinkler and fire alarm systems? How long will the mall be closed for?
And the most difficult question of them all: What now?
Today, at least, Qatar knows what it will be doing: mourning the 19 people it lost in yesterday’s fire. Visiting the more than dozen people who remain in the hospital. Cleaning up the mess the fire left behind.
But what about tomorrow, and beyond?
Credit: Photo courtesy of Rashid/Adabisc