A candlelit vigil was held last night for the relatives of children who died in a fire which swept through a day nursery in a shopping mall. Hundreds of people - Qatari and expats alike - gathered at a special ceremony next to the Villagio mall where the tragedy happened on Monday.
They came to stand by a mother and a father, who are now trying to come to terms with an incomparable loss, Martin and Jane Weekes' triplets – Lillie, Jackson and Willsher – all died in the blaze at the Gympanzee day centre. The little ones were just two years old. Hymns were sung, candles were lit and flowers were laid as a mark of respect and in memory of those children and the other 10, as long 6 adults who died that day.
This local man said "In Qatar we are not used to these sort of atrocities, we have come today to be with the family, even though for me personally I don't know them, but just by being here we can offer a sort of moral support."
Lisa Trevell, a friend of the Weekes family said: "Try and stay strong, and try and just carry on, because that's what your children would have wanted you to do. It's going to be really hard but you'll get through it. Look around you, so many people here today, know that everyone loves you and they are thinking of you."
Earlier that day crowds gathered at a nearby mosque for the funeral of one of the fire-fighters killed whilst trying to tackle the fire and save others.
And a father and brother – both make the difficult walk to the graveside to lay to rest the body of 5-year-old Umar Emeran, a South African citizen. Surrounded by family and friends they are overcome with grief at the loss of loved one so young, so small.
Authorities are still no closer to uncovering the cause of the fire although the investigation will focus heavily on safety standards at the mall after news came to light that the sprinkler systems and fire alarms may have failed. Arrest orders have been issued for the owner of the mall and four other people.
Written & Presented by Marverine Cole