Mangaf, Kuwait. Wikipedia Commons License, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mangaf-kuwait.jpg
14 Jun 2024

LPG fire in Kuwait killed 50 guest workers and injured dozens others - including 5 firefighters


A tragic fire in a building housing nearly 200 foreign workers in Kuwait claimed 45 lives and left dozens injured, officials report. The blaze, which occurred at dawn in the Mangaf area south of Kuwait City, injured 43 people, according to the health ministry. This area is heavily populated with migrant labourers.

On June 12,  2024, a devastating early-morning fire erupted in a residential building in Mangaf, Ahmadi Governorate, Kuwait, resulting in the deaths of 50 migrant workers. The majority of the victims died from  smoke inhalation, while others died from falls during the incident. 

Following the tragedy, authorities arrested the building's owner, the janitor, and the company owner, Wikipedia reports. 


LPG containers  contributed to the rapid fire spread 

The fire was reported at 06:00 AST (03:00 GMT) on the ground floor of a six-story residential building housing 196 workers. At the time, a large number of people were present in the building. The fire originated in the security room and quickly spread to the kitchen, where over 20 LPG cylinders and other flammable materials were stored, facilitating the rapid spread of the flames.

The lower part of the building was engulfed by the fire, while thick black smoke billowed from the upper floors. Most fatalities were due to smoke inhalation while the victims were sleeping, and several others sustained fatal injuries from falls. 

Security agencies managed to rescue 67 people, and five firefighters were injured during the rescue efforts. The fire was extinguished within ten minutes of the firefighters' arrival on the scene. 

"Unfortunately, we received a report of a fire at exactly 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in the Mangaf area," said Major General Eid Al-Owaihan, head of the interior ministry's General Department of Criminal Evidence, while at the scene. 

"Regarding the fatalities in the building behind me, the number has exceeded 35 so far", he said on Wednesday after the incident. Another 15 fatalities was eventually added to the total death toll by June 14.  

Images from the site showed the six-story building's exterior blackened by soot. The building housed 196 workers, according to information provided to the minister by their employer, CBS News reported. 


45 Indian citizens brought back by the air force

An Indian Air Force flight repatriated the bodies of 45 workers back to India, the CBC reported on Thursday, June 14.  

Indian Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh, who traveled to Kuwait following the incident, stated that DNA tests were conducted to identify the victims. 

Mr. Singh mentioned that the Indian government arranged a special Air Force flight to bring back the bodies. 

The flight landed in Kochi, Kerala, on Friday morning, where the remains of workers from southern Indian states were handed over to local authorities before the flight continued to Delhi. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state lawmakers were present at the airport to receive the bodies and pay their respects.

"This is a significant tragedy for our country. Kerala's migrant workers are the lifeblood of our state. The fire in Kuwait is one of the most devastating events to impact our community," Mr. Vijayan remarked.

Both state and federal governments have announced compensation for the families of the deceased.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons License. 


Mangaf city. Wikipedia Commons License.