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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

A fire in a building hosting foreign workers in Kuwait has resulted in the loss of at least 40 Indian lives

In the early hours of Wednesday, tragedy struck as a fire engulfed a building housing foreign workers in Kuwait, claiming the lives of at least 40 Indian nationals and leaving over 50 injured, according to India’s external affairs ministry. Initial investigations by local authorities suggest that the blaze may have been sparked by code violations.

Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, upon visiting the site, confirmed the death toll and ordered the immediate arrest of the building’s owner, as reported by local media. “We will address the issue of labor overcrowding,” he stated, emphasizing his commitment to addressing any violations and holding accountable those responsible.

Col. Sayed Hassan al-Mousawi, head of the firefighters’ Accident Investigation Department, indicated that the number of casualties could rise further, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

Late on Wednesday, India’s external affairs ministry released a statement revealing that approximately 40 Indians had lost their lives in the tragic incident, with over 50 others sustaining injuries. The injured are currently receiving medical treatment in five government hospitals in Kuwait, where they are being provided with necessary care and attention. Additionally, India’s junior external affairs minister, Kirti Vardhan Singh, is set to travel to Kuwait to facilitate the swift repatriation of the deceased and offer medical assistance to the injured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the victims and assured that the Indian Embassy is closely coordinating with local authorities to provide assistance to 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,” Modi conveyed.

Kuwait, like many other nations in the Persian Gulf region, boasts a significant migrant worker population, surpassing the local populace by a considerable margin. Despite its relatively small size, with a population of around 4.2 million, comparable to the U.S. state of New Jersey, Kuwait possesses the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

This tragic incident follows a fire at an oil refinery in 2022 that claimed the lives of four individuals, highlighting the pressing need for enhanced safety measures and vigilance in the region.

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