Al-Mangaf building fire: Focus shifts to corruption, sad plight of migrant workers in Kuwait

Meanwhile, an inspection campaign has been launched by the government after the Al-Mangaf building fire that claimed 49 lives mostly workers from India.
Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

A day after nearly 49 people, including 40 Indians, were killed in a devastating fire housing migrant workers in Kuwait, a Kuwaiti newspaper recalled the 2022 blaze at Mubarakiya Market commercial area which left 14 people injured and affected approximately 5,000 square meters out of the site’s total area, to point out how catastrophes of this nature continue despite big talks by authorities to stop recurrence of such accidents.

The editorial in Al-Jarida pointed its fingers to corruption, greed and nepotism for the blaze though it can be traced back to that worker who was preparing a cup of tea, or his colleague who was cooking his food.

"To our new government," a coarse translation of the editorial added,"for which we place high hopes, we stress that the real challenge before its ministers and leaders is to take serious measures to solve problems from their roots, with advance vision and real action, and for everyone to see the extent of its keenness and firmness in implementing the law, with actual decisions stemming from justice, not research..."

Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
Kuwait fire tragedy: Death toll of Keralites rises to 24, seven seriously injured

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.

Meanwhile, an inspection campaign has been launched by the government after Al-Mangaf building fire.

Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
Kuwait fire tragedy: Survivors recount chilling tales

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