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Friday, July 12, 2024

40 Indians Dead, 50 Injured in Kuwait

The Ministry of External Affairs in Kuwait reported that a fire that started in a block housing workers in Mangaf city resulted in the deaths of forty Indians and the injuries of fifty others.

Starting at six in the morning local time (9 in the morning IST), 49 individuals perished in the fire.

Here are your ten key points for this major incident:

  1. The fire started in a kitchen in the six-storey building, officials said, adding the building had nearly 195 people – all workers of the same company – living in it. Officials said most deaths were due to smoke inhalation while residents were sleeping.
  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level review meeting at his residence and announced compensation of ₹ 2 lakh each for the families of those who died. He extended condolences to the families of those who were killed and wished the injured a speedy recovery. 
  3. The Ministry of External Affairs said that, on the directions of the PM, Minister of State Shri 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”.
  4. The injured are being treated in five government hospitals – Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra – in Kuwait. The ministry said that, according to hospital authorities, most of the admitted patients are stable.
  5. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke to his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya who updated him about the efforts made by authorities there. “Was assured that the incident would be fully investigated and that responsibility will be fixed,” Mr Jaishankar said on X, adding that he had urged the early repatriation of the bodies of those who had lost their lives. 
  6. The Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian embassy in Kuwait is in touch with local authorities and has established a helpline +965-65505246 (WhatsApp and regular calls) for family members to get in touch. 
  7. Indian Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visited the building where the fire broke out and the different hospitals where the injured were admitted.
  8. Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, has ordered authorities to investigate the fire and said those responsible for the tragedy would be held accountable. 
  9. The Kuwait Times reported that Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, the First Deputy Prime Minister has ordered the arrest of the building’s owner and janitor as well as the owner of the company responsible for the workers pending the end of the criminal evidence personnel’s examination of the scene
  10. Indians constitute 21 per cent (10 lakh) of the total population of Kuwait, and 30 per cent of its workforce (approximately 9 lakh). The other people who have died were reportedly from Pakistan, the Philippines, Egypt and Nepal.

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