Three Pakistani firemen die in Doha accident before World Cup
Three Pakistani firemen died in a training accident in the Qatari capital weeks before the start of the World Cup, officials said Thursday.
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.
Officials did not give details of the accident late Wednesday but the accounts given by friends of the three and posted on social media said they were on a crane that collapsed in Doha’s Hamad port.
Photographs accompanying the posts showed the crumpled crane. AFP could not immediately verify the pictures.
Fifteen foreign governments including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Palestinian territories have sent security forces and experts for the Watan exercise that ends Thursday.
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 in 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.