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Kuwait fire kills 49 at building for foreign workers

Published June 12, 2024last updated June 12, 2024

Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze that broke out in Kuwait's southern Mangaf district, killing at least 49 people.

A Kuwaiti police officer is seen in front of a burnt building following a deadly fire, in Mangaf
The fire was brought under control and authorities were combing the area for evidenceImage: REUTERS

Kuwait's Interior Ministry said more than 49 people were killed after a fire swept through a building that was housing foreign workers in the south of the small Gulf state.

Officials said the cause of the blaze, which also left several people injured, was being investigated.

What we know so far

According to local media, the fire began early on Wednesday and swept through the six-floor building filled with workers in the Mangaf district.

"The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there," a senior police official told state television.

"Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire."

State-run news agency KUNA said the fire had been controlled, with authorities searching for evidence about the cause.

Visiting the site, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah accused real estate owners of violations and greed, which he said had contributed toward the incident.

"Unfortunately, the greed of real estate owners is what leads to these matters," said Sheikh Fahad, who also runs the interior and defense ministries.

The workers' types of employment and countries of origin were initially unclear.

rc/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters)