40 Indians Killed, 50 Injured in Devastating Kuwait Building Fire

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Kuwait City: In a tragic incident, a fire broke out early Sunday morning in a six-storey building in Mangaf city, Kuwait, leading to the deaths of 40 Indian nationals and injuries to 50 others. The building housed workers from a single company, with 195 people living there. The fire began in the kitchen at around 6 am local time (9 am IST).

Details of the Incident:
The majority of the fatalities occurred due to smoke inhalation as the workers were asleep when the fire started. The blaze rapidly spread throughout the building, causing severe casualties and widespread panic.

Government Response:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a high-level review meeting at his residence, during which he announced compensation of ₹2 lakh for the families of those who died in the fire. He extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wished a swift recovery to the injured.

On the Prime Minister’s direction, Minister of State Shri Kirti Vardhan Singh will travel to Kuwait to oversee the repatriation of the mortal remains and ensure medical assistance for the injured.

Medical Aid and Stability:
The injured are being treated in five government hospitals across Kuwait: Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer, and Jahra. According to hospital authorities, the condition of most admitted patients is stable.

Diplomatic Efforts:
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya, who assured a thorough investigation into the incident and accountability for those responsible. Minister Jaishankar emphasized the importance of the early repatriation of the deceased’s bodies.

The Indian embassy in Kuwait has established a helpline (+965-65505246) for families to obtain information and assistance. Indian Ambassador Adarsh Swaika has visited the fire site and the hospitals where the injured are being treated.

Actions by Kuwaiti Authorities:
Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has ordered an investigation into the fire, stating that those responsible would be held accountable. Additionally, Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, the First Deputy Prime Minister, has mandated the arrest of the building’s owner, janitor, and the owner of the company responsible for the workers, pending the conclusion of the criminal evidence personnel’s examination of the scene.

Community Impact:
Indians constitute 21% (1 million) of Kuwait’s population and 30% (900,000) of its workforce. The other victims included individuals from Pakistan, the Philippines, Egypt, and Nepal.

The horrific incident has sent shockwaves through the expatriate community in Kuwait and underscored the need for stringent safety measures in residential buildings housing workers.

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