12 Jun 2024

40 Indians Killed, Many Injured in Kuwait Building Fire; Minister of State Kirti Vardhan Singh will go to Kuwait

At least 40 Indian nationals lost their lives, and dozens more were injured in a devastating fire early Wednesday morning in a building in the southern Mangaf district of Kuwait, which housed Indian workers. The fire reportedly started in a kitchen on a lower floor and quickly spread, trapping many inside.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and assured that the Indian Embassy is closely monitoring the situation and working with local authorities to assist the affected. “The fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest,” he posted on X.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also expressed shock and stated that the Indian ambassador has gone to the site. “Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalized. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information,” Jaishankar posted on X. He offered his deepest condolences to the families and wished for the swift recovery of the injured, assuring that the Embassy will provide full assistance.

Indian Ambassador visited the Mangaf site 

Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, visited the Mangaf site and the Al-Adan hospital, where over 30 injured Indian workers were admitted. “He met a number of patients and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy,” the Indian Embassy in Kuwait said in a post on X. They also provided an emergency helpline number: 965-65505246 for updates and assistance.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written on Twitter that he is shocked and saddened by the news of this incident.

Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter, "Shocked and saddened by the horrific news of the death of more than 40 Indians due to fire in Kuwait city. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. I wish for the speedy recovery of all those injured."

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal called the incident a stark reminder of the poor living conditions for Indian laborers in the Middle East. He urged the Government to ensure the safety and dignity of Indian citizens abroad, including proper housing with adequate safety measures.

Minister of State Kirti Vardhan Singh going to Kuwait 

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Randhir Jaiswal has said that Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh is going to Kuwait on the instructions of the Prime Minister.

He wrote on the message, "He will monitor the assistance to those injured in the fire tragedy. He will coordinate with the local authorities to bring back the bodies of those killed in this unfortunate incident as soon as possible."

Building housed around 195 laborers

KUNA reported that the fire had been brought under control, and authorities are investigating the cause. The building housed around 195 laborers, including workers from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and belonged to the NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. A senior police commander mentioned that many deaths were due to smoke inhalation and criticized the overcrowded housing conditions.

Kuwait's Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah ordered the arrest of the building owner, janitor, and the company owner responsible for the workers, blaming the incident on their greed. Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.

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