40 Indians killed in fire at Kuwait building housing workers, 30 injured

As many as 40 Indian nationals were killed after a fire broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in Kuwait early morning on Wednesday.
40 Indians killed in fire at Kuwait building housing workers, 30 injured
A Kuwaiti police officer is seen in front of a burnt building following a deadly fire, in Mangaf, southern Kuwait, 12 June, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

A fire tore through a building housing migrant workers in southern Kuwait early on Wednesday, killing 40 Indians and injuring dozens more. The building belonged to NBTC, the biggest construction group in Kuwait.

According to local media reports, the fire started in a kitchen in a six-storey building in Mangaf city at around 6 am local time. Major General Eid Al Oweihan, Director General of Criminal Evidence, confirmed an initial death toll of 35. Six more victims succumbed to injuries later in the hospital.

"The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there," a senior police commander told state TV, as quoted by news agency Reuters.

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40 Indians killed in fire at Kuwait building housing workers, 30 injured

"Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire," the official added.

Nearly 160 people were staying in the building in question and many workers staying there were from India.

Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visited the injured Indian workers receiving medical treatment at the Al-Adan hospital. Over 30 Indian nationals were injured in the blaze.

"He met a number of patients and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy. Almost all are reported to be stable by hospital authorities," the Indian embassy said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar offered condolences to the victims' families. "Deepest condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives. Wish early and full recovery to those who have been injured. Our Embassy will render the fullest assistance to all concerned in this regard," he said.

Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the fire. One police official noted concerns about overcrowding in worker housing. "We always alert and warn against cramming too many workers into such accommodations," he said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah has asked authorities to take into custody the owner of Mangaf building where a fatal blaze occured. The minister has also asked to arrest the building's janitor and the owner of the company responsible for the workers who live in premises. 

Source: India Today

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