DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A fire broke out Saturday at an $825-million mall under construction near a stadium where Qatar plans to host some of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, authorities said. There were no immediate reports of injuries, though the mall said some 14,000 laborers and staff had been evacuated.
Qatar’s Interior Ministry said on Twitter that firefighters were battling a blaze at a mall under construction near the Al-Rayan Sports Club on the western outskirts of Doha, the country’s capital. That’s where developers are building the Mall of Qatar, a massive shopping center under construction since 2012 that was scheduled to open later this year.
Video on social media showed a thick black cloud of smoke rising over the mall. UrbaCon Trading & Contracting Co., the construction company building the mall, did not immediately answer a request for comment by email and a telephone message Saturday.
In a statement posted to Facebook, management at the Mall of Qatar said the fire began around 2:30 p.m. and that there were no casualties.
“An investigation is being conducted and details will be provided once the investigation is complete,” the statement read. Mall management did not respond to a request for comment.
Mall of Qatar is planned to be some 5.4 million square feet (500,000 square meters), and to be connected to the Doha Metro. Plans call for Qatar to renovate the nearby Ahmed bin Ali Stadium to host World Cup matches.
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jon-gambrell .
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