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New Zealanders watched their Television sets in shock today as newscaster Peter Williams reading the news on TV One, reported via Al Jazeera news sources of the loss of Kiwi triplets abroad in Qatar.

Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes, aged 2, were among 19 people who died, 13 of them children in a creche nursery in the country of Doha, located in a shopping mall.

Bereft parents Martin and Jane Weekes once lived in Wellington. Weekes is most prominent in New Zealand for his role as chief executive of Auckland’s Eden Park.

TVNZ’s website says, the fire reportedly started in the nursery in the large Villagio Mall which is in the Qatar capital’s west and is popular with the expat community. New Zealand’s PM, John Key said the New Zealand consul in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is travelling to Doha to support the children’s family, and their grandparents are going to Doha from New Zealand this evening.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the Riyadh consul has already been closely in touch with the family “who are obviously in fairly desperate circumstances dealing with the grief with the situation.”

Among those killed where children from Spain and France. Other children from Japan, the Philippines and Benin also died with Lillie, Jackson and Willsher. A lack of fire alarms and sprinklers may have been the cause of the fire. An Interior Ministry official told journalists none of the dead were Qataris. Four of the dead adults were teachers and the other two were civil defence personnel, the official said.

Qatar’s Interior Minister tweeted that the children killed were seven girls and six boys and the teachers were female. Seventeen people were also wounded, including four children, the ministry official said.

The health minister said the cause of death for many of the children and the four teachers was suffocation due to smoke inhalation. The fire trapped more than 20 children and staff members in the mall, one of the most popular shopping and recreational complexes in the small gulf state. The mall, which opened in 2006, is an Italianate-themed shopping complex with a hotel, theme park and canal plied by gondolas.

Many expatriates live in Qatar, a gas and oil-rich Gulf Arab state with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

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It is very sad all children were lost in Doha. Likewise all of the people lost in Syria recently too. TVNZ also reports: Annan condemns ‘appalling crime’ on visit to Syria

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News source – TVNZ.  Photo: Sky News, Australia.

~Posted by Horiwoodblog.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 29.5.12~

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