Kuwait fire tragedy: Smoke caught residents unaware

Egyptians living on the ground floor of the apartment complex lit their gas stove and the cylinder burst into flames engulfing the entire building with thick black smoke.
Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. At least 41 people died when a fire swept through a building that housed workers in Kuwait early Wednesday, and officials said the blaze appeared to be linked to code violations.
Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. At least 41 people died when a fire swept through a building that housed workers in Kuwait early Wednesday, and officials said the blaze appeared to be linked to code violations.Photo | AP

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 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.

A senior official belonging to the NBTC group which owns the building told TNIE over the phone from Kuwait that none of the injured who have been admitted to six hospitals are having burn injuries, but smoke inhalation-related injuries. But a majority of the 50 injured are in critical condition.

According to him, 50 injured people, including Indians, Nepalis and Philippinos are admitted to six hospitals.Twenty-one of them are admitted to Adan Hospital there.

Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. At least 41 people died when a fire swept through a building that housed workers in Kuwait early Wednesday, and officials said the blaze appeared to be linked to code violations.
Over 40 Indians among 49 killed in Kuwait fire tragedy

The official recalled that the incident happened when the Egyptians living on the ground floor of the apartment complex lit their gas stove and the cylinder burst into flames engulfing the entire building with thick black smoke.

“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.

He also recalled that six months ago, former union minister of state for external affairs, V Muraleedharan, had visited the labour camp complex and was hugely impressed by the living conditions there.

“Kuwait had never experienced such a tragedy like this before. Most of the people living in the complex are working in supermarkets or workshops of NBTC group,” he said.

Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. At least 41 people died when a fire swept through a building that housed workers in Kuwait early Wednesday, and officials said the blaze appeared to be linked to code violations.
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