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12/06/24 | 3:51 pm

Fire in Kuwaiti building housing workers kills 41, deputy PM says

A fire broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in southern Kuwait early on Wednesday, claiming the lives of at least 41 people, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah said during a visit to the site.

The deputy PM accused real estate owners of violations and greed, saying those factors contributed towards the incident.

“Unfortunately, the greed of real estate owners is what leads to these matters,” said Sheikh Fahad, who also runs the interior and defense ministries.

Following the fire that broke out in Kuwait City, killing over 40 people, the Indian ambassador to Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika visited the Al-Adan hospital where over 30 Indian workers are being treated.

The ambassador said that over 30 Indian workers have been injured in the fire incident.

The ambassador also visited Farwaniya Hospital, where six workers, who are expected to be mostly Indians, who got injured in the fire incident were admitted.

Among those six, the hospital authorities confirmed that four of them have been released, one has shifted to Jahra hospital and one in ward is stable now.

Moreover, envoy Swaik also paid a visit to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, where reportedly, 11 injured workers were admitted.

Earlier today, the Indian envoy also visited the incident site in Mangaf to ascertain the situation and emphasised that the embassy is in touch with the concerned authorities for necessary action.

Further, the Indian embassy has also put an emergency helpline number and has urged all the concerned people to connect over the helpline for updates.

“In connection with the tragic fire accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance,” the Indian embassy in Kuwait added.

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims via a post on ‘X’. Expressing shock, he said that the Indian Ambassador had gone to the camp and that they were awaiting further information.

He assured that the Indian Embassy would provide all possible assistance and support to the affected individuals.

The fire was reported to authorities at 6:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT), Major General Eid Rashed Hamad said.

“The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there. Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire,” another senior police commander told state TV.

“We always alert and warn against” cramming too many workers into housing accommodation, he said, without providing details on the workers’ type of employment or place of origin.

The fire was contained and authorities were investigating its cause, officials said.

(Inputs from agencies)

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