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Kuwait Fire: 196 Workers Were Trapped In The Building, Lives Claimed By Smoke As They Slept

After the fire incident, the Kuwaiti government has taken decisive action. Home Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah visited the scene and ordered the arrest of the building owner.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Jun 13, 2024 12:00 IST
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Kuwait Fire Incident
Kuwait Fire Incident

In Kuwait, a devastating fire broke out in a building on Wednesday, resulting in the deaths of more than 50 people. A significant number of the deceased are reported to be Indian citizens, with more than 40 Indian nationals among the casualties.

This incident has caused a sensation from Kuwait to India. The Kuwaiti government has held negligence responsible for the incident and has ordered the arrest of building owners and others. The government has described the fire as a result of negligence.

The fire in Mangaf, southern Kuwait, occurred suddenly in a building leased by the NBTC Group. The company had arranged accommodation for its workers in this building. There were a total of 196 people living in the building, which greatly exceeded its capacity.

According to several reports, the workers were being squeezed into living in this building, which indicates that they were being forced to stay there under cramped conditions.

Most of the residents were night-shift workers

The fire broke out around 4 am on Wednesday in Mangaf, southern Kuwait. It started in the kitchen on the sixth floor of the six-story building and quickly spread throughout. Most of the residents were night-shift workers who had returned and were sleeping at the time. Due to the fire spreading rapidly, many people did not have a chance to escape. The cramped conditions in the building also prevented many from fleeing. However, some people jumped from their floors to save themselves.

The Minister of Interior has stated that most deaths occurred due to suffocation. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Amir, Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has ordered an investigation into the incident.

A major negligence that has come to light in this incident is that there was only one entry gate for the entire building. The roof of the building was completely closed, which prevented workers from escaping through the roof.

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Kuwait Government’s Response

After the fire incident, the Kuwaiti government has taken decisive action. Home Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah visited the scene and ordered the arrest of the building owner.

He stated that there has been a violation of residential laws in this case. Foreign workers were forced to live in extremely unsafe conditions by violating regulations, presumably to cut costs for the company.

Building Owner is a Malayali Businessman

The building where the fire occurred is owned by a businessman named KJ Abraham, who is of Malayali origin. KJ Abraham is a prominent businessman from Thiruvalla, Kerala, and his company has been part of Kuwait’s Oil and Industries sector since 1977.

The deceased workers were employed by this same company.

Kuwait’s Economy Dependent on Foreign Workers

Kuwait’s economy heavily relies on foreign workers, particularly in the construction industry, where a large number of them are employed. There is a significant Indian community residing in Kuwait, estimated to be around 1 million at present. Among them are a substantial number of laborers, engineers, doctors, chartered accountants, software experts, and technicians.

Worst Fire in Kuwait’s History

This incident is being described as the worst fire in Kuwait’s history. Previously, in 2009, a woman deliberately set fire to a wedding ceremony out of revenge, resulting in the death of 57 people.

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First published on: Jun 13, 2024 12:00 PM IST

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