Not since 9/11 has anything in the news devastated me more than reading the tragic true story of what just happened in Qatar. My heartfelt prayers go out to the residents of Qatar and every single person affected by this tragedy. I have wept each time reading what happened because it's such a tragic loss of innocent lives that could have easily been prevented.
What stands out in my mind is that rescue workers were not informed until a half an hour after arriving on the scene that there was a nursery inside. Without trying to sound preachy, this is a gross error and crime! This kind of incompetence makes my blood literally boil and I can't comprehend that such a deadly mistake was made by the mall. Time is the most critical part of any rescue operation and the fact that no one was alerted to small children being inside the nursery is unforgivable.
I read (here) that the Moroccan fireman and "hero", Husam Shahboun, was found dead lying on the floor with two children in his arms and several surrounding him and his Iranian colleague.
When something like this happens the most important thing we can do is learn from the mistakes and prevent them from ever happening again. Safety starts with you first. Every morning when you get in your car you should think safety for you and your family. The first steps are checking your tires and do a visual of your car. The next, put your small children in car seats, buckle up yourself and drive defensively with a well maintained car. That's common sense but what many may not realize is that the country of Kuwait can be a safety nightmare. I’m sorry if this insults some but it’s a fact. I work in safety and I know what I’m talking about. The good news is that Kuwait is coming around to realizing the importance of safety in the work place. There is a great improvement in many local companies and that is a good, positive thing.
My advice for anyone with small children in nursery schools here in Kuwait: Go and have them immediately checked out. I’m saying this because I live in Kuwait but you should do this no matter what country you live in. Yes, that includes the USA.
If you are an expat working in Kuwait contact the safety staff of the company you work for and ask them to do you a favor and go with you on an inspection of the school. It’s your right to inspect your child’s school or nursery. Please do not wait until it’s too late!
Click (here) for a safety presentation I found online that helps you identify safety risks at your child's school.
I just want to write that my heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the victims. If there is any legitimate website for donations for the firemen and nursery’s victims families please comment or email me. Thank you!