Dubai: A man, accused of accidentally causing woman’s death in a shisha fire in Dubai, has been handed a suspended jail sentence by Dubai Court. The court has also ordered the defendant to pay Dh200,000 in compensation.
Medical report showed that the victim had died from inhaling the smoke and then suffered burn injuries while still inside the majlis. Reports confirmed that there was no foul-play behind the death.
According to Dubai Public Prosecution records, the 37-year-old Arab defendant was smoking shisha with his Ethiopian friend in a majlis at a country house in the Lehbab area when flying ash from the coal from the shisha left outside the Majlis caused a fire, blocking the way in front of the duo. The man told Dubai Criminal Court that he went with his friend to the country farm in March this year and asked a worker to set up the coal for shisha. The shisha coal was placed two metres away from the majlis door, where sofas were placed. The pair smoked shisha for 45 minutes before the defendant suddenly noticed flames outside the majlis.
How it happened
“I opened the door and there were flames blocking the way and surrounding us. I yelled out to her [the friend] and told her to escape and jumped over the flames to safety. However, she didn’t follow me as she was afraid and stayed inside,” the defendant said on record. “I tried to extinguish the fire with the workers there, using buckets of water, but we failed as the blaze had spread everywhere in the majlis. I even wrapped a blanket around my body to go inside and rescue her, but just couldn’t due to the heat.”
Emirati lawyer Bader Khamis, from World Center Advocates and Legal Consultants, who represented the defendant, told the court that the wind factor had caused the blaze. “Particles of coal flew to the sheets on the sofa and caused the fire in the Majlis. The defendant tried to rescue the woman and urged her to leave the place quickly, but she was frightened and she hesitated,” Khamis said in the defence arguments presented to the judges.
Court thereafter issued a one-year suspended jail sentence and ordered the defendant to pay Dh200,000 in blood money to the victim’s family.