Three firemen are killed ‘when crane collapses’ during training exercise in Qatar just weeks before World Cup
- The firemen died when the crane’s frame folded in half amid a training exercise
- Images showed how the firemen’s platform slammed into an adjacent building
- The three victims were of Pakistani origin, a close contact of one of the men said
- It comes as human rights lawyers denounced officials for treatment of workers
- Fifteen governments from around the world have sent security forces to take part in multinational security training events this week ahead of the World Cup
Three Pakistani firemen have died in a training accident in Qatar just weeks before the start of the World Cup, officials confirmed today.
Authorities said the three were not taking part in a multi-national World Cup security exercise currently being held around Doha that includes simulations of ‘chemical incidents’ and demonstrations.
But accounts given by friends of the three and posted on social media said they were on a firetruck-mounted crane that collapsed in the Qatari capital’s Hamad port as part of a separate training exercise.
Officials did not give details of the accident late Wednesday.
Photographs circulating on social media appeared to show the crumpled crane whose walkway seemed to have buckled midway up the structure.
The images showed how the metal frame had folded at a precarious angle, sending the upper section of the crane smashing into the roof of an adjacent building.
Timestamps on the images suggested the incident unfolded on Tuesday morning.
The metal frame had folded at a precarious angle, sending the upper section of the crane smashing into the roof of an adjacent building
The crane’s walkway appeared to have buckled, causing the upper part of the structure to fold over and smash into the concrete
Images of the three victims were posted on social media by friends
Initial reports suggested the three victims were Qatari and Kuwaiti nationals, but these theories were challenged by a relative of one of the victims who confirmed to to Doha News the men, all three in their 30s, were of Pakistani origin.
The trio were identified as Yosef Mindar, Kaleem Allah, and Jalal. Mindar, a father of two, had lived his entire life in the Gulf state.
The two other victims have families based in Pakistan, according to Doha News’ report.
The news comes as a human rights lawyer in Nepal hit out at Qatari authorities, claiming the World Cup is ‘bloodstained’ due to the numbers of migrant worker deaths.
But Qatar’s emir says his nation is being subjected to a ferocious campaign of ‘fabrication and double standards’.
‘Qatar has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever faced,’ Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani told Qatar’s legislative council this week.
‘We initially dealt with the matter in good faith and even considered that some criticism was positive and useful.
‘But it soon became clear to us that the campaign continues, expands and includes fabrication and double standards, until it reached a level of ferocity that made many question, unfortunately, about the real reasons and motives behind this campaign.’
Qatar will become the first Middle Eastern country to host the cup when it kicks off on November 20.
The Islamic country of 2.7 million people was awarded the cup in 2010, prompting a $A470 billion construction program including eight stadiums, a new train system in Doha and numerous hotels.
About two million migrant workers, chiefly from south-east Asia, came to Qatar to help build the infrastructure.
Qatari authorities say 37 migrant workers linked to construction of stadiums have died, but some tallies put the death toll in the thousands.
A worker mows the lawn of a golf course near the Education City Stadium in Doha on October 27, 2022, ahead of the World Cup
Despite threats of boycotts amid widespread criticism of alleged human rights abuses and poor treatment of migrant workers in the run up to the World Cup, all 32 teams which qualified for the tournament are set to take part
This file photo taken on October 20, 2022 shows a view of the 974 Stadium, which will host matches during the FIFA football World Cup 2022, in the Ras Abu Aboud district of the Qatari capital Doha
Despite threats of boycotts amid widespread criticism of alleged human rights abuses and poor treatment of migrant workers in the run up to the World Cup, all 32 teams which qualified for the tournament are set to take part.
Fifteen foreign governments including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Palestinian territories have sent security forces and experts to Qatar for the Watan security exercises, which end later today.
Exercises have included fighter jet drills, a chemical attack on a stadium and handling demonstrations.
Turkey has sent about 3,000 police to reinforce Qatar’s domestic force during the World Cup that starts November 20 and ends December 18.
Morocco and Pakistan will also reportedly send police reinforcements.
Some diplomats have questioned whether the foreign police have had proper training on handling the one million fans predicted to come to Qatar for the games.
Qatar’s Safety and Security Operations Committee said the exercises had shown ‘the capabilities, readiness, and determination of the military forces and civil authorities to deal with all scenarios’.
General Michael Kurilla, head of the US Central Command that manages US forces across the Middle East, was in Qatar for the start of the exercises.
‘Kurilla expressed confidence in Qatar’s ability to ensure a safe and secure World Cup next month,’ said a Central Command statement.
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