Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ex-Wife Confesses to Setting Kuwait Wedding Tent Fire

From today’s Kuwait Times So like, you are the taxi driver, a woman gets in your cab with two containers full of gasoline, and you drop her off at a wedding tent? (It doesn’t say if he was told to wait) Like wouldn’t that make you a little concerned?

Her maids knew about her threats. Wouldn’t you think someone might warn her family?

I know that there is a way of looking at this that makes it more comprehensible, but it is so far beyond me, except that I have heard multiple times about in-laws interfering in marriages, and I imagine it could make you homicidal. But oh, this is the stuff of legend.

If she was married to the groom in this wedding at one time, isn’t there a likelihood that she is from that same family?

Ex-wife consumed with burning anger
Published Date: August 18, 2009
By A Saleh, Staff writer

KUWAIT: The woman arrested in connection with the Jahra wedding tent fire, which killed 42 people and injured dozens more, some critically, has confessed to starting the blaze. The woman, the ex-wife of the bridegroom, made her confession during police questioning, which began at 2:30 am on Sunday morning. The questioning was personally supervised by Brigadier Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah, the Assistant Director General of Criminal Detectives for Governorate Affairs.

Asked about her motives for starting the fire, the unidentified 23-year-old woman said that she had wanted to take revenge on her parents-in-law, whom she accused of destroying her marriage. She added that she had argued continually with them, saying they wanted to “burn” her heart by making her ex-husband marry another woman. Asked by the interviewing officers whether she had experienced problems with her husband, she said these problems had increased because of his family, adding that he had begun to beat her and create problems due to believing what his family told him about her.

She said she had been considering setting the wedding tent alight since she learned about the wedding party, adding that nobody else had known about her plans. Asked if she had intended to kill those in the tent, she told officers, “Of course not. I only wanted to disturb the party.

When the officers questioning her asked if she knew that more than 40 people had died due to her actions and the number may increase, she collapsed and began crying. After calming down, she explained how she had set the tent on fire, telling officers that on the night of the wedding she had taken a taxi to the home of her parents-in-law in Jahra, carrying two bottles filled with petrol. On arriving, she simply walked up to the tent, poured the petrol on it and set it alight before fleeing. She then took an
other taxi and returned to her home.

While on her way there, she received a text message from her in-laws accusing her of starting the fire. She then called her brother and told him that she was going to Rabiya police station to register a complaint about the message. When the officers asked her if her brother knew that she was behind the fire, she said, “Of course not. I told him I was going out and he didn’t know about the fire.

The woman said that once she arrived at the police station to make the complaint, however, she said that the desk officer there refused to register it, telling her that nobody had accused her of anything. After that, she said, she had gone to her parents’ home until “you arrested me and sent me to the Criminal Investigation Department in Salmiya.

A total of 43 women and children have died and 90 other people were injured in the inferno, fire chief General Jassem Al-Mansouri said, the deadliest civilian disaster in the modern history of the Gulf state. Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer said that 38 wounded women have been discharged after receiving the necessary treatment. Of the 52 wounded still in hospital, at least five are in critical condition with extremely severe burns, the minister said, adding that some others have suffered moderate burns.

Thirty-one of the dead were buried on Sunday and yesterday while forensics officials are still busy trying to establish the identities of the other victims. At least seven of the dead are children. Specialized medical teams from Germany and Britain were scheduled to arrive yesterday to treat the injured.

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 8 Comments

Kuwait Wedding Fire: Did Bride Survive?

AOL News is carrying this report, saying “it is unclear whether the bride survived.” I know I read in the Kuwait Times yesterday that the bride did survive, but her mother and sister did not. Which is true?

Fatal Wedding Fire Called Criminal Act
Kuwaiti Newspaper Says Groom’s Angry Ex-Wife Started Deadly Blaze

KUWAIT CITY (Aug. 17) – Kuwaiti authorities have apprehended the person suspected of setting fire to a wedding tent and killing 41 people and said Monday the motive was personal. Local newspapers reported the groom’s ex-wife was the arsonist.

The inferno Saturday night in the tribal area of al-Jahra, west of Kuwait City, ate up the women’s tent in just three minutes and left behind bodies so charred they were unrecognizable. Guests likely crushed one another in a desperate attempt to flee. It was still unclear if the bride had survived.

Kuwaiti authorities said Monday that a deadly wedding tent blaze was set by someone for personal reasons. Local newspapers identified the suspect as the groom’s ex-wife. The intense fire, which lasted only three minutes, killed 41 women and children. Fifty-two others were hospitalized. Here, burnt debris litters the area in Kuwait City.

‘A Horrific Scene’

Kuwaiti officials said 41 women and children died when a fire broke out at a wedding party in Kuwait City on Saturday. The deadly inferno lasted just three minutes. Authorities said 58 injured were still in hospitals, including seven people in serious condition with severe burns. Here, burnt debris litters the area.

The alleged arsonist has been identified and “confessed to committing the crime for personal reasons,” Interior Ministry spokesman Col. Mohammed al-Saber told state-owned Kuwait television.

Al-Saber’s statement made no reference to an ex-wife, and he did not answer telephone calls seeking comment Monday. But Kuwaiti newspapers speculated on the cause of the fire, saying that the groom’s former wife was to blame. The headline in the English-language Kuwait Times was “‘Scorned’ Woman Unleashed Fury.”

The independent Al-Qabas daily said the groom’s former wife, who is 23 years old, poured gasoline on the tent and lit it because she felt her ex-husband mistreated her when they were married.

A statement Monday from the Interior Ministry carried by the Kuwait News Agency said the perpetrator was in custody, but no name or details were given.

The “final and exact” death toll discussed in a high-level security meeting Monday was 41, said Kuwaiti Fire Department chief, Brig. Gen. Jassem al-Mansouri. Earlier reports Monday had raised the death toll to 43 after two people died overnight from burns. But al-Mansouri said after further investigation authorities determined that only 39 people died during the initial blaze. He said the bodies were so badly burned, it was difficult for investigators to determine how many people perished.

The chief, who described the fire as the worst disaster he’s seen in almost four decades of service, said 6 bodies were still unidentified and it was not known if the bride survived the carnage.

You can read this entire account by clicking HERE.

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Family Issues, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 5 Comments