The last picture of the Weekes triplets shows Winkie
(left), Jackson and Lillie at the daycare in the Doha mall
hours before the deadly inferno. Photo supplied
Faulty sprinklers in a Doha mall could have stopped the
smoke that claimed the lives of 19 people including young New
Zealand triplets, a court has heard.
A trial in a Qatari court to decide responsibility for the
fatal May fire has heard overnight (NZT) that the Villaggio
mall sprinkler system failed.
The court heard sprinklers that should have stopped the smoke
"didn't appear to be functioning" and mall officials had not
responded to requests from the fire alarm and sprinkler
system companies to perform "much-needed maintenance on the
mall equipment", Doha News said.
Two-year-old New Zealand triplets Lillie, Jackson and
Willsher Weekes were among the 13 children who died in the
Doha News reported that the court heard evidence that mall
officials had been repeatedly fined for using highly
flammable paint, which caused the May 28 fire "to spread
A fire officer testifying at the trial said the flammable
paint, coupled with smouldering clothes from a Nike store,
was the cause of heavy smoke that spread to the nearby play
area, asphyxiating the children, four teachers and two
firefighters who were trying to save them.
The defence lawyer for the mall asked whether the maintenance
companies and the childcare centre where the deaths occurred
had met their responsibilities.
Civil Defence admitted that the firefighters at the scene
were "not necessarily properly trained to handle the fire",
Doha News said.
The trial, which is expected to hear evidence from at least
10 people, will resume on January 3.
The hearing has previously been postponed because all
defendants failed to front the court.