Today in the Villagio Doha, a popular Venice-themed shopping mall in the west end of Qatar’s capital, a fire broke out. Details emerged slowly over what caused the Villagio fire, but most reports on Twitter say that 19 people, mostly children visiting an amusement center on a field trip, have died. The news has finally reached Reuters and Al Jazeera, but officials are still mum on how many people have been killed and injured, as well as with the sharing of details about the fire.

Unfortunately rumors are swirling on social media networks and local authorities have not been helpful with their silence. Then there are the louts who believe it is all right to share pictures of body bags on Twitter. What matters, however, is that too many families are suffering an unexplainable grief. Today our thoughts are with the people of Qatar while they cope with this unimaginable suffering.

You can follow the details on Twitter via the hashtag #Villagio. Doha News is covering the events as they unfold, and you can see pictures of the rescue on Brian Candy’s Flickr photostream.

Update: The best information appears to be on the Doha News live blog.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.