Kuwait Makes Three Arrests In Building Fire Tragedy That Killed 50 Foreign Workers

The fire started due to an electrical fault in the guard's room on the ground floor. It spread quickly, trapping many workers inside and causing fatalities primarily due to smoke inhalation.
Kuwait Fire

Building where fire broke out in Kuwait on Wednesday

Photo : REUTERS
Kuwaiti authorities on Thursday detained three individuals in connection with a devastating building fire that killed 50 foreign workers, most of them Indian nationals. The fire occurred early Wednesday in a six-storey building in the Mangaf area, south of Kuwait City, home to nearly 200 workers.
According to a report by CNA, the detained individuals include one Kuwaiti and two foreign residents. They are suspected of manslaughter due to negligence of security procedures and fire regulations, according to the public prosecution service. Moreover, the owner of the building has also been arrested and will remain in custody until the investigation concludes, as stated by Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Defence Minister, and Interior Minister, reported Khaleej Times.
The fire started due to an electrical fault in the guard's room on the ground floor. It spread quickly, trapping many workers inside and causing fatalities primarily due to smoke inhalation. The death toll, initially 49, rose to 50 overnight after one injured worker succumbed to their injuries, confirmed Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Yahya.
Among the deceased were three Filipinos, according to officials in Manila. The majority of the victims were Indians, highlighting the risks faced by migrant workers in Kuwait. Most of Kuwait's population of over 4 million consists of foreigners from South and Southeast Asia, employed in construction and service sectors.
In the wake of the tragedy, Interior Minister Sheikh Fahd Al-Yousef has vowed to address issues of "labour overcrowding and neglect." He also threatened to close any buildings found to be violating safety regulations.
In a supportive gesture, UAE-based businessman M.A. Yusuff Ali has announced financial compensation to the families of some of the victims. Ali, managing director of Lulu Group, promised approximately Dh22,000 to each family from the southern Indian state of Kerala. These funds will be distributed through Norka Roots, an entity established by the Kerala government for the welfare of non-resident Keralites.
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