Kuwait building fire reveals the plight of migrant workers

Online Desk

 Most of the people living in the six-storey building in block number four in Kuwait’s Mangaf City were either sleeping or getting ready to leave for work when a gas cylinder belonging to an Egyptian living on the ground floor burst, engulfing the apartment in thick black smoke.

Over 40 Indians were killed and more than 50 others injured.

“Since the apartment complex is centrally air-conditioned, in no time thick black smoke engulfed it. The temperature here is 48 degrees which led the smoke to engulf the building soon. Those people who jumped from the second floor survived, but those who jumped from the fifth floor lost their lives,” said an NBTC group official.

(Photo | AFP)

According to media reports, the building reportedly belongs to the NBTC Group, headed by Malayali businessman KG Abraham.

(Photo | AP)

Kuwaiti authorities are conducting DNA tests on the bodies of those killed and an IAF aircraft is on standby to bring back the mortal remains of Indians killed in the incident.

The poor living conditions and plight of migrant labourers in Kuwait and other parts of the middle east is widely reported now. The data available with the Centre speaks for itself.

According to a data provided by the government, 2932 Indians died in Kuwait between 2014 and 2018. Similarly, a total of 731 and 708 Indians, mostly migrant workers, died in Kuwait in 2022 and 2023, according to the information that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) presented in Parliament in response to a query on February 2 this year. The 2020 and 2021 – the Covid-19 years – had seen 1279 and 1201 Indians dying in Kuwait, reports noted.

(Photo | AP)