Fire at foreign workers' housing facility kills dozens in Kuwait

The authorities said they had contained the fire and were investigating what caused it. (Photo/Reuters)

At least 49 people were killed in Kuwait after a fire broke out in a building housing foreign workers, with Kuwait's deputy prime minister accusing property owners of committing violations that contribute towards such incidents.

"The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there. Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately, there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire," a senior police commander told state TV on Wednesday.

The incident was reported to authorities at 0300 GMT, Major General Eid Rashed Hamad said.

Visiting the site, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah said "The greed of real estate owners is what leads to these matters".

It was not immediately clear if any violations had taken place at the building or what they were.

The Kuwaiti Health Ministry said about 43 people were hospitalised due to the fire.

The nationalities of those who died were not immediately disclosed by local authorities.

Several Indian workers killed

Several Indians, including those from the southern state of Kerala, were reported to have died in the fire, according to a letter written by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to India's foreign minister that was shared with the press.

A government agency for Keralites living outside the state said it had been told by the Indian community in Kuwait that 41 Indians, had died in the fire.

"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 authorities said they had contained the fire and were investigating what caused it.

The senior police commander said authorities had warned against housing too many workers in a single accommodation but didn't say if regulations had been flouted.


Source: TRT