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Kuwait Building Fire: 45 Indians Among 49 Dead

On the morning of June 12, 2024, a fire broke out in a six-storey building in Mangaf, Kuwait, claiming the lives of 49 workers and injuring over 50 others.

Kuwait Building Fire: 45 Indians Among 49 Dead

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The fire occurred on June 12, 2024, around 6 am local time. The blaze took place in a residential building in Mangaf, a suburb south of Kuwait City, which is heavily populated by migrant laborers.

The six-storey building housed approximately 196 workers, all employed by the same company. The fire started on the ground floor, quickly spreading upwards due to the presence of flammable materials and multiple cooking gas tanks.

Initially reported at 35, the death toll rose to 49 after forensic teams completed their search. All the deceased were Indian nationals.

Over 50 individuals sustained injuries with 56 people receiving treatment at local hospitals. The injuries ranged from burns to smoke inhalation with most of the fatalities resulting from suffocation due to rising smoke.

The injured were admitted to five government hospitals in Kuwait, Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra. Most patients were reported to be in stable condition.

Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior confirmed the incident and provided updates on the rising death toll. Interior Minister Sheikh Fahd Al-Yousef announced the detention of the building’s owner for negligence. He also stated that properties violating safety regulations would be closed immediately.

The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah ordered a thorough investigation into the fire. The First Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah ordered the arrest of the building’s owner, janitor and the company owner pending a criminal investigation.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sorrow and described the event as “saddening.” He ordered immediate assistance and announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh for the families of the deceased.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar coordinated with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya, for the early repatriation of the bodies and ensured that a detailed investigation would take place.

Migrant workers constitute a huge portion of Kuwait’s workforce with Indians making up 21% of the population and 30% of the workforce.

The affected building housed Indian laborers, showing the huge Indian migrant presence in Kuwait. The tragedy underlines the living conditions of migrant workers in Kuwait.

Rights groups and reports have pointed to inadequate safety measures, overcrowded housing and insufficient regulatory oversight as contributing factors to such disasters.

Migrant workers often face verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and are sometimes forcibly confined in employer-provided accommodations.

Previous reports have indicated that migrant workers in the Gulf region face high risks due to harsh working conditions, inadequate safety measures and exposure to extreme heat.

A 2023 study highlighted the increased risk of occupational injuries among these workers, exacerbated by limited health and safety training and fear of deportation.

The Indian Embassy in Kuwait set up an emergency helpline and deployed personnel to assist the affected workers. Indian Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visited the injured in hospitals and the site of the fire.

Local authorities in Kuwait identified 48 bodies with efforts still underway to identify the remaining one. They have confirmed that the victims include 45 Indians and three Filipino nationals.

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Victims List from India’s States:

  • Kerala: 23 victims
  • Tamil Nadu: 7 victims
  • Andhra Pradesh: 2 victims
  • Odisha: 2 victims
  • Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh: 1 victim each


  1. Akash S Nair (32 years): A native of Panthalam, Pathanamthitta district, working in Kuwait for the past eight years.
  2. Chennasseril Saju Varghese (65 years): From Konni, Pathanamthitta district, had been working in Kuwait for 22 years.
  3. Akash (23 years): From Pathanamthitta; more details awaited.
  4. Sreehari Pradeep: A mechanical engineer from Changanassery, with his father also working in Kuwait.
  5. Lucose (48 years): Kollam native and supervisor at NBTC for 18 years.
  6. Sajan George (29 years): An M.Tech graduate from Punalur, Kollam, had joined NBTC as a junior mechanical engineer a month ago.
  7. Kelu Ponmaleri: A production engineer from Thrikaripur, Kasargod.
  8. Ranjith (34 years): A Kasargod native with a decade of experience in Kuwait.
  9. Shemeer: A driver from Kollam, working in Kuwait for the last five years.
  10. Stephin Abraham Sabu: An engineer from Kottayam Pampadi.
  11. Vishwas Krishna (34 years): A Kannur native who had recently moved to Kuwait.
  12. Binoy Thomas: From Thrissur, had arrived in Kuwait just five days prior to the incident.
  13. Shibu Varghese (38 years): An accountant with NBTC, working in Kuwait for 11 years.
  14. Thomas C Ommen: From Pathanamthitta, in Kuwait for six years.
  15. Bahuleyan (36 years): From Malappuram, working at Kuwait Highway Hyper Market.

Tamil Nadu

  1. Veerachamy Mariappan: From Kovilpatti, Tuticorin, lived in Kuwait for over 20 years.
  2. Raju Ebamesan (54 years): A driver from Trichy, employed by NBTC.
  3. Karupannan Ramu: From Ramanathapuram, worked in Kuwait for 26 years.
  4. Bhunaf Richard (28 years): A quality manager from Thanjavur, working with NBTC.
  5. Krishnamurthy Chinnadurai: From Cuddalore, last spoke to his family on the night of the tragedy.
  6. Govindan Shivashankar (48 years): From Chennai, went to Kuwait on a two-year contract as a driver.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Kirti Vardhan Singh reached Kuwait to coordinate with the Kuwaiti government for the repatriation of the bodies and the welfare of the injured.

India dispatched a C-130J aircraft to bring back the bodies. The flight was scheduled to land in Kochi before heading to Delhi. The Minister visited multiple hospitals in Kuwait to ensure the injured receive proper care and treatment.

These states were the most affected, with 23 and 7 victims respectively. Each victim had a unique story, many of whom had moved to Kuwait for better job prospects. Some had been living there for decades, while others had only recently arrived.

Kuwaiti officials have assured full cooperation and support for the identification and repatriation of the victims.

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Top Sources Related to Kuwait Building Fire: 45 Indians Among 49 Dead (For R&D)


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