KUWAIT CITY – A fire in a wedding party tent that killed 43 women and children in Kuwait was started deliberately by the ex-wife of the groom, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported.
The 23-year-old former wife had admitted pouring gasoline on the cotton tent and setting it on fire, furious at what she called her "bad treatment" by her former husband before their divorce, the Al-Qabbas newspaper reported. There was no official confirmation of the alleged confession.
Firefighters said that the blaze took less than three minutes to rip through the marquee, in which as many as 180 women and children were celebrating the wedding party. Many of those who died were killed in the stampede for the sole exit.
The men at the party celebrated in a separate tent, in line with the tradition of the conservative state.
The blaze in Jahra, 50 miles west of Kuwait City, was the worst civil disaster in the country's history. The inferno was so intense that many of the charred bodies would have to be DNA tested for identification, officials said.
At least 90 people were injured in the blaze, and the number of deaths rose overnight to 43.