Indian Mission coordinates relief for citizens affected by Mangaf fire in Kuwait

13 June,2024 11:31 AM IST |  Dubai/Kuwait City  |  mid-day online correspondent

The fire broke out in the kitchen of a seven-story building in Mangaf, Ahmadi Governorate, that housed 195 migrant labourers, early Wednesday morning

Fire erupted in a Kuwait building housing workers/ PTI

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India's mission in Kuwait is in contact with local authorities to obtain information about a devastating fire in Mangaf that killed 49 foreign workers, including approximately 40 Indians, and injured 50 others. Officials in Kuwait have initiated an investigation into one of the country's biggest fires, reported PTI.

According to the report, the fire broke out in the kitchen of a seven-story building in Mangaf, Ahmadi Governorate, that housed 195 migrant labourers, early Wednesday morning. Calls for action have been made against landlords and business owners who lodge huge numbers of workers in hazardous situations to save money.

The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi extended condolences, noting, "In a sad fire event today in a labour housing facility in Mangaf, over 40 Indians are believed to have been killed and over 50 injured. "The Embassy is gathering information from Kuwaiti authorities and the company."

According to officials, the fire started shortly after 4:00 am, while the majority of the 196 male occupants were sleeping, resulting in heavy black smoke that caused suffocation, the PTI report stated.

Per the PTI report, individuals who have been injured are receiving treatment at five Kuwaiti government hospitals. Hospital officials report that the majority of patients are stable. Adarsh Swaika, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, visited the incident site and hospitals to check on the well-being of Indian nationals.

The Embassy is working with local authorities to help injured Indians and their families. A helpline (+965-65505246) has been set up for family members. Minister of State Kirti Vardhan Singh will fly to Kuwait to assist with repatriation and medical treatment, as directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the report added.

Kuwait's Amir, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, offered his condolences and directed a quick investigation. Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah both expressed condolences.

S Jaishankar, India's External Affairs Minister, expressed sorrow while speaking with his Kuwaiti counterpart, who sent Kuwait's condolences. Kuwait's Deputy Premier has ordered the arrest of the building's landlord and Egyptian security. Building inspections to ensure safety compliance will begin immediately.

According to the report, the public prosecution has begun an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Some reports suggest a gas leak, while officials discovered inflammable materials being used as barriers; this likely resulted in heavy smoke that suffocated several people. Moreover, the building's rooftop door was locked, barring escape.

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