Assima Project on Fire

Post by Mark

The Assima mall and tower which is currently under construction in Kuwait City (across from KIPCO Tower) caught fire earlier today. The fire started in the afternoon and by the time I passed by in the evening, the whole site was engulfed in flames. Solo Pizza, Sola Taco’s and A’s Chicken were forced to close down since their shops are located right behind the construction site.

So if you were wondering what all that smoke coming from the city was, now you know.

Update: Below are some epic photos taken earlier tonight by a reader. Thanks Ricardo!

Update2: According to KUNA, the fire started around 3:30PM and it took 180 firemen to put it out. [Link]

Update3: Now that the fire is out the damage to the site looks to be pretty extensive. According to a reader, the shoring around the site is completely burned and the “shores” are collapsing. Before you start digging to create a hole for construction, you first have to stabilize the sides so they won’t collapse. That process is called shoring. The shoring is composed of steel beams with wooden planks between them [Like this] that hold up the sand walls. The wooden planks are now mostly burnt and the sand walls are collapsing into the site as you can see in the picture above. Thanks Dragos!


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12 comments, add your own...


  1. Hamad says:

    Isn’t it weird that fire incidents keep coming one after another?

    • Nidaa says:

      No, since its extremely hot and there’s for sure flammables products left outside

    • Dun says:

      Safety levels are incredibly atrocious even in the biggest projects (with the exception of the oil companies). This type of thing shouldn’t be unexpected, sadly.

      On a related note, has anyone asked for inspection of the cheap chinese cladding all over the city?

  2. Bu_Jassem says:

    its on map snapchat you can see whole thing

  3. 7aneen says:

    Interested to know of what standard procedures were carried out like evacuation of nearby buildings, etc

  4. Mad Max says:

    They should just halt all construction activity in Kuwait, June through August every year. With the mercury hiting 62 C, I wouldn’t at all be surprised things catching fire on their own.

  5. Husain says:

    I work nearby, and happen to be there that day.the electricity was shut in most of the surrounding buildings during the fire. Also fire fighters and policemen were serious about pushing bystanders away and further back. The picture above explains why Adjacent street is still closed.

  6. CrazyKuwaiti says:

    The use of H Beams is actually called Piling, since they pour concrete walls afterwards and create a concrete retaining wall. If the latter isnt done then it is Shoring i.e. temporary structure.

    If the Wooden Planks used for the retaining wall burned during the fire, that means that the Piling Work was yet to be completed and the Retaining Wall has yet to Set. Its extremely dangerous, since any crack in the walls would let in Sea Water in addition to a collapse.

    This project seemed destined to fail since 2004 and real estate prices these days. I wonder if the owners just decided to torch it.

    • Mark says:

      Let in sea water? What are you talking about? The construction is taking place in the middle of downtown, they’re not reclaiming the sea…

      • CrazyKuwaiti says:

        Sea Water and subterranean aquafiers are everywhere especially in urban areas. The site is below sea-level and it is guaranteed that sea-water seeps through Kuwait city during high and low tides; thats why Shoring & Piling are always accompnied by Dewatering and Insulation Works.

        Besides that, their are huge rivers underground from all of the topsoil irrigation that happens every date (highway gardening, car wash’s, sewer leaks…etc) all of them flow to sea level, or any point that is lower than that, which in Kuwait City, would be the Assima Site.


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