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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Villaggio mall cinema-goers evacuated after snack machine malfunctions

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For the second time this week, Villaggio Mall has been evacuated due to a fire-related matter, this time in the cinema area. Here’s the latest.

UPDATE | 12:43pm

Here’s a short video of the mall during the evacuation, courtesy of Fahad Al-Hedfa:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1KcVVSUPAA]

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Late-night Villaggio Mall movie-goers were evacuated from the cinema around 1:15am Saturday morning, reportedly following an incident with a malfunctioning snack machine there, eyewitnesses have told Doha News.

It is the second fire-related evacuation this week.

According to Fahad Al-Hedfa, fire alarms began going off around 1:10am, right after he and his friends sat down in the cinema.

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At first, those inside the theater thought it was a false alarm, until mall employees shouted at them to leave, he told Doha News:

Then we moved out of the theater and there was the big shock – the smoke were everywhere and it was hard to breathe normally. We couldn’t believe that at a moment we thought it’s a joke…Police & firefighters were already there everywhere in the cinema & specially around the snack area.

I went to see & the smoke were coming from one of the popcorn machines. People were covering their faces because the smoke spread everywhere & I even after three hours of getting out of Villaggio I was tasting the smoke in my mouth.”

Faizan Aziz added:

By the time we exited the mall, the civil defence, fire department and fazaa were arriving yet there was very little being done to get people outside the mall… There must have been a good couple hundred people inside as this was the midnight movie show on a weekend night..

It is unclear whether the cinema will be open today. 

The cinema evacuation comes just days after the mall, where 19 people were killed in a fire last May, was evacuated over a malfunctioning air conditioning unit inside a clothing store.

That incident, which took place on Wednesday, has spurred renewed questions about mall safety.

Anyone know more?

Thoughts?

Credit: Photos by Faiz on Twitter

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