February 6, 2017 / 10:19 AM / 6 months ago

Kuwait's new opera house complex catches fire, no casualties

Firefighters work to contain a large fire at Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre in Kuwait City, Kuwait February 6, 2017.Stephanie McGehee

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Flames ripped through the complex housing Kuwait's new opera house on Monday, just three months after the futuristic $770-million venue opened to the public.

A thick plume of black smoke rose from the waterfront Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center, television footage showed. Firefighters on a crane sprayed water onto the building, a structure covered with geometric Islamic patterns.

In a statement later in the day, the center said the fire had been contained with no casualties. The blaze hit the roof of the complex building, away from the theater and music buildings, it added.

The musical "Cats" was due to open at the complex on Thursday, and the center's statement said events and activities there would continue uninterrupted. 

Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy and Hadeel Al Sayegh; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Alison Williams

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