I was so surprised to see a colleague’s recent status update on her social network account insinuating that her once horrific nightmare of a mall catching fire that would endanger her kid’s life has already transpired.
Arch. Maricel Arcos-Sadsad recently moved in together with her husband Jonathan (also an architect and a college friend of mine) to Doha, Qatar for work. The couple brought with them their 2-year old daughter as the two works hard and makes a living for the family.
Frequently, Maricel leaves her daughter with their nanny at a fun activity area of the mall while they do their shopping. According to her, their daughter is way too frisky to bring with them while they wander and do their shopping. She and her husband Jon have once planned bringing their daughter to the Villagio’s activity area. But then again, a mother’s instinct changed her decision not to do as planned.
Being an architect, we can possibly perceive the likely flaws and issues of our work and of existing structures. Based on Maricel’s accounts, the location of the Nursery where 13 children died was deprived of appropriate safety measures. The odd location of the said establishment is a definite death trap in case of emergency.
Most of the victims are children and mostly off springs of expatriates. Based on reports four of them are Spanish, one French, and two-year old triplets from New Zealand.
Status update of Arch.Maricel Arcos-Sadsad on her FB account: “I don’t know if this is an instinctive feeling or just a coincidence. I have felt for almost 2 weeks already that I and my husband must not leave anymore our daughter and yaya in any fun activity area of a mall… which we usually do when we need to shop our personal stuff. I’ve imagined of a fire break and thought how scary it could be if we won’t be able to fetch them in occurrence of such an emergency. Now, I am shocked that my horrific imagination happened, the Villagio mall (where we usually go on fridays) was burned, they said the fire started at the fun activity area particularly in the go kart station. The number of death has reached to 19 people and most victims are young children.”
Maricel recalled that it was just a couple of weeks after their last visit at the Villagio before the fire broke out inside the mall. That same day, Maricel felt different when they entered the establishment. Her eyes strolled on every corner of the structure and an appalling forethought has ensnared her mind. She repeatedly told her husband that she will no longer leave their child on any activity area of a mall living in fear that a likely disaster might happen.
This event will surely seize the Qatari government’s attention in the careful planning of their structures and enactment of necessary building codes.