PM Modi expresses grief over loss of lives in Kuwait

PM Modi expresses grief over loss of lives in Kuwait


PM Modi expresses grief over loss of lives in Kuwait

A fire broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in southern Kuwait early on Wednesday. Over 49 people have died and more than 50 have been injured in the Kuwait fire incident.

Forty Indians were among 49 killed after the fire broke out. The incident happened at 6 am local time (9 am IST). Kuwaiti officials said over 50 people have been hospitalised.

The fire started in a kitchen in the six-storey building, officials said, adding the building had nearly 160 people living in it, who are workers of the same company. Eyewitnesses said some people jumped from the fifth floor of the building to escape the fire and died.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of those killed in the fire “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 said. A high-level meeting is taking place at the Prime Minister’s residence over the tragedy.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said the Indian ambassador has gone to the site of the incident. “Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalized. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information,” Mr S Jaishankar said.

The Indian embassy in Kuwait has issued a helpline number and earlier said the fire accident involved some Indian workers and the embassy will give all possible assistance. The emergency helpline number is +965-65505246.

The X handle of Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Adarsh Swaika said over 30 Indian workers injured in fire have been admitted to hospital. “Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visited the Al-Adan hospital where over 30 Indian workers injured in today’s fire incident have been admitted… Met a number of patients and assured them of full assistance from the embassy. Almost all are reported to be stable by hospital authorities,” the Indian Embassy to Kuwait said in the post.

Junior Foreign Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh will go to Kuwait to help Indians injured in the fire, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. “As directed by PM Narendra Modi, MoS for External Affairs KV Singh is urgently travelling to Kuwait to oversee assistance to those injured in the fire tragedy and to coordinate with local authorities for early repatriation of mortal remains of those who have died in this unfortunate incident,” the spokesperson said.

The Ambassador met the patients and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy. Indians constitute 21 per cent (1 million) of the total population of Kuwait, and 30 per cent of its workforce (approximately 9 lakh).

“The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there were many workers there. Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire,” a senior police officer told news agency Reuters.

“We always alert and warn against” cramming too many workers into housing accommodation, he said, without providing details on the workers’ type of employment or place of origin. The fire was contained and authorities were investigating its cause.

Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad al-Yousuf al-Sabah visited the site and ordered the arrest of the building’s owner, as per Al Jazeera. “Unfortunately, the greed of real estate owners is what leads to these matters,” said Sheikh Fahad, who also runs the interior and defence ministries.

Govt of India has assured that the Indian embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the concerned authorities for further assistance. The ambassador also visited Farwaniya Hospital, where six workers, who are expected to be mostly Indians, who got injured in the fire incident were admitted.

Among those six, the hospital authorities confirmed that four of them have been released, one has shifted to Jahra Hospital and one in the ward is stable now.

Moreover, envoy Swaik also paid a visit to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, where reportedly, 11 injured workers were admitted.

Earlier today, the Indian envoy also visited the incident site in Mangaf to ascertain the situation and emphasised that the embassy is in touch with the concerned authorities for necessary action.