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45 Indians Killed In Mangaf Building Fire In Kuwait

Image Courtesy: AFP

Kuwaiti authorities have identified the bodies of 45 Indians and three Filipinos who perished in a fire that broke out in a building housing foreign workers in the city of Mangaf. The Gulf nation has pledged a thorough investigation and assured full support in repatriating the victims' remains.

The devastating fire, which occurred on Wednesday, claimed the lives of at least 49 foreign workers and injured 50 others in a seven-storey building that accommodated 196 migrant workers.


Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of Defence, confirmed the identification of 48 bodies, with efforts ongoing to determine the identity of the remaining victim, according to the Arab Times.

The Kuwait Fire Force attributed the deadly blaze to an electrical short circuit after conducting a field examination of the scene.

In New Delhi, officials stated that DNA tests are being conducted on the bodies, and an Indian Air Force aircraft is ready to repatriate the bodies of the deceased Indians.

Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh has arrived in Kuwait to oversee the assistance for injured Indians and expedite the repatriation process. He met with Kuwait's Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya, who assured full support and a swift investigation.

Mr Singh also met with First Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad, who expressed condolences on behalf of the Emir and affirmed the provision of necessary assistance and support.

Conveying Prime Minister Narendra Modi's greetings, Mr Singh thanked Kuwaiti authorities for their proactive facilitation. He also met Health Minister Dr. Ahmad Abdelwahab Ahmad Al-Awadi to discuss the medical care provided to the injured Indians.

During his visit to several hospitals, including Jaber Hospital and Mubarak Al Kabeer Hospital, Mr Singh assured the injured of the Indian government's support.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah has directed the distribution of financial assistance to the victims' families and ordered the preparation of military aircraft to repatriate the bodies.

Authorities have detained a Kuwaiti citizen and several foreigners on charges of manslaughter and negligence in safety measures. The Public Prosecution has mandated their provisional detention following the fire in the Al-Mangaf area, reported the Arab Times.

Sheikh Fahad is leading an inspection campaign on illegal properties in various areas, including Al-Mangaf, Al-Mahboula, Khaitan, and Jileeb Al-Shuyoukh. The Interior Ministry, Kuwait Municipality, Kuwait Fire Force, Ministry of Electricity and Water, and Public Authority for Manpower are participating in the campaign.

Violations in apartment buildings will be addressed without prior warning, and the owner of the affected building will be held in custody until the investigation concludes.

The public prosecutor has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, with a special team examining the scene and questioning the injured in hospitals.

Head of investigations at the Kuwait Fire Department, Col Sayed Al-Mousawi, revealed that inflammable materials used as partitions between apartments contributed to the fire's severity. Many victims suffocated due to smoke-filled staircases and a locked rooftop door.

Separately, the Kuwait Municipality's Engineering Audit and Follow-up Department in the Farwaniya Governorate has closed seven basements and issued 13 violations. Efforts to close non-compliant basements are ongoing.

The incident highlights the critical need for stringent safety measures and swift action to prevent such tragedies in the future.

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