Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2024

40 Indians killed in Kuwait building fire housing workers

New Delhi: A fire tore through a building housing migrant workers in southern Kuwait early on Wednesday, killing 40 Indians and injuring dozens more. The building was built by NBTC, the biggest construction group in Kuwait.

Modi said the fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening

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. Kuwait’s Interior Ministry in a statement confirmed that the death toll reached 49 by Wednesday evening.

Kuwait’s Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah ordered police to apprehend the owner of the Mangaf building where the fatal blaze occurred Wednesday, the building’s janitor, as well as the owner of the company responsible for the workers pending the end of the criminal evidence personnel’s examination of the scene, the Kuwait Times reported.

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

The building was built by NBTC, the biggest construction group in Kuwait. KG Abraham, an Indian-origin businessman, is the company’s Managing Director and partner. NBTC had rented the building to house more than 195 workers. Employees of the NBTC supermarket were also staying in the building.

The group is yet to react on the incident.

“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.

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

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening and prayed for the recovery of those injured in the blaze.

“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 directed MoS for External Affairs, Kirti Vardhan Singh, to urgently travel to Kuwait to oversee assistance to those injured in the fire tragedy.


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