Kuwait: 40 Indians Dead In Building Fire Incident, Over 30 Injured

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Kuwait: 40 Indians Dead In Building Fire Incident, Over 30 Injured 

| Updated: June 12, 2024 20:37

At least 40 Indian nationals were killed and several more were injured after a fire broke out at a building that housed migrant workers in southern Kuwait early on Wednesday. Kuwait’s largest construction company, NBTC, constructed the building.

The fire originated in the kitchen of a six-story building in Mangaf city at around 6 a.m. local time, according to reports from the local media. Kuwait’s Interior Ministry, in a statement, confirmed that the death toll had reached 49 by Wednesday evening.

Kuwait’s Interior Minister, Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, directed police to arrest the owner of the Mangaf building where the deadly fire occurred, the building’s janitor, as well as the owner of the company that employed the workers. 

“What happened today is a result of the greed of the company and building owners,” the minister said in a statement. 

The largest construction company in Kuwait, NBTC, constructed the building. The managing director and partner of the company is KG Abraham, a businessman of Indian origin. The building was rented by NBTC to accommodate about 195 workers. Employees of the NBTC supermarket were also staying in the building.

The organisation has not yet responded to the incident. “The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there were a large number of workers there,” a senior police commander said. 

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

PM Modi’s Reaction to the Tragedy 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sadness over the fire incident in Kuwait City and offered condolences to all those impacted.

“My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi has instructed MoS for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh to make an immediate visit to Kuwait in order to monitor the relief efforts for the victims of the fire disaster.

Additionally, Kirti Vardhan Singh has been ordered to work with the local authorities to arrange for the prompt return of the deceased victims’ mortal remains from the fire incident.

The building in question housed close to 160 individuals, many of whom were Indian workers. Indian citizens from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and the northern regions made up the majority of those residing in the building. Local media sources state that the deceased ranged from 20 to 50 years old. 

With thousands of workers, mostly from south India, drawn to Kuwait, Indians make up one of the largest expatriate communities in the country.

An emergency helpline number, +965-65505246, has been set up by the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.

Indian workers who were injured and undergoing medical attention at the Al-Adan hospital received a visit from Indian Ambassador Adarsh Swaika. The fire injured over 30 Indian nationals.

“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 stated they are conducting a probe into 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.

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