KUWAIT: The fire department yesterday said construction work on the titanium roof of the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center caused the fire that ripped through the complex yesterday. Firefighters on a crane sprayed water onto the building, a structure covered with geometric Islamic patterns. The department said in a statement on Twitter that the fire was put out and caused no injuries. It added five fire departments helped battle the blaze, which sent thick smoke pouring from the futuristic-looking, waterfront complex.
Head of the Amiri Diwan’s Financial and Administrative Affairs Abdulaziz Ishaq said firefighters responded promptly and effectively when the fire broke out as a result of construction work. Ishaq, who also heads the committee in charge of the cultural center, added that the building was completely evacuated at the time of the blaze, which only resulted in material damage. He thanked the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) and all those involved in dealing with the mishap.
Parts of the roof were seen to be missing after the blaze, but it was unclear if that was the result of the construction work or the fire. The center was launched in October with a performance at its 2,000-seat opera house by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Broadway musical “Cats” was due to open on Thursday at the sprawling 214,000-sq-m center, located in the heart of Kuwait City.
By Hanna Al-Saadoun