40 Indians killed in fire at workers’ accommodation in Kuwait City
Prime Minister Modi chaired a review meeting on the fire tragedy at his residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.

at 1:54 am
PM Modi holds review meeting on the Kuwait fire tragedy

Kuwait City/New Delhi, June 12: At least 49 people died, including 40 Indians, in a fire that engulfed a six-storey workers’ accommodation in Mangaf in Kuwait’s southern Ahmadi governorate on Wednesday.

The death toll mounted to 49 in the evening, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said, adding that strict measures will be taken against building owners who violate the law. The authorities are currently working to identify the victims on site and identifying the cause of the fire, the ministry added.

The Kuwait Local website said “the majority of the deceased are Indian nationals”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness over the tragedy and deputed newly-sworn-in Minister of State for External Affairs KV Singh to travel to Kuwait to oversee assistance to the injured Indian workers.

The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah expressed his condolences over the fire tragedy deaths, and so did the Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

PM Modi posted on X that the Indian Embassy in Kuwait is working with the authorities there to assist those 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. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected,” he posted on X.

In a late night statement, the MEA said that around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured in an unfortunate and tragic fire-incident on Wednesday in a Labour housing facility in Mangaf area of Kuwait.

The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is ascertaining the full details from the concerned Kuwaiti authorities and the company.

We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families, it said in a statement.

Those injured are presently admitted in five government hospitals (Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra hospitals) in Kuwait and receiving proper medical care and attention. According to hospital authorities, most of the admitted patients are stable.

Following the incident, Ambassador of India in Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, immediately visited the location of the incident and also the hospitals to ascertain the welfare of the Indian nationals.

The Embassy continues to coordinate with local authorities to assist Indian nationals who have been injured in this unfortunate incident and extend all possible support. The Embassy is receiving full cooperation from the Kuwaiti authorities, it said.

On the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of State Kirti Vardhan Singh is immediately travelling to Kuwait to work towards early repatriation of mortal remains as well as for medical assistance to those injured.

The Indian Embassy in Kuwait continues to remain in touch with local authorities to provide relief to those affected.

The Embassy has established a helpline +965-65505246 (whatsapp and regular call) for family members to get in touch. Regular updates are being provided through the helpline, it added.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi chaired a review meeting on the fire tragedy in Kuwait at his residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.

Prime Minister Modi directed that Government of India should extend all possible assistance. He also directed that MOS External Affairs KV Singh should immediately travel to Kuwait to oversee the relief measures and facilitate expeditious repatriation of the mortal remains, a press statement said.

Prime Minister announced ex- gratia relief of Rupees 2 lakh to the families of the deceased India nationals from the Prime Minister Relief Fund.

Those present at the meeting include Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar,  the Minister of State for External Affairs Kirtivardhan Singh, Principal Secretary to PM Pramod Kumar Mishra, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and other senior officials.

The fire occurred at around 4 am on Wednesday morning, and is suspected to have originated from a gas cylinder stored in the watchman’s room. Nearly 160 workers, all employees of the same company, were residing in the camp at the time of the fire.

Kuwaiti Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousef Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered arrest of the building owner, the janitor, and the owner of the company responsible for the workers.

Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, also visited the site and assured full assistance with official formalities and support for those hospitalized.

Sheikh Fahad has instructed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to prevent overcrowding in residential buildings and ensure all safety requirements are in place to prevent future incidents.

Xinhua news agency quoted Mohammed Al-Gharib, director of public relations at the General Fire Force, as saying in a statement that the fire broke out in a six-story residential building densely populated with labour workers.

The majority of fatalities were attributed to smoke inhalation during sleep, while many of the residents were evacuated from the building, added Al-Gharib.

According to Kuwait Times, images from the scene showed soot blackening the exterior of the six-storey building which housed the workers.