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Death toll from building fire in Kuwait rises to 49

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-13 00:41

Vehicles are parked next to a building damaged following a deadly fire, in Mangaf, southern Kuwait on June 12. [Photo/Agencies]

KUWAIT CITY -- The death toll from a fire early Wednesday morning in a residential building in the Mangaf area, south of Kuwait City, rose to 49, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry.

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire, and vowed to hold those responsible accountable, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The emir, Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, and Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah have sent condolence messages to the families of the victims, the KUNA said.

Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah, Kuwait's first deputy prime minister, defense minister, and interior minister, ordered the detention of individuals involved, including the building owner, until the forensic evidence team completes its investigation.

He also instructed relevant government departments to inspect and address violations in the construction sector to avoid similar accidents.

Local newspaper, citing anonymous sources, reported that the fire started in the guard's room, spread to a lounge on the first floor, followed by a storage area containing gas cylinders, and eventually engulfed the rest of the building. A large number of residents near the building had been evacuated.

According to the sources, around 160 workers were inside the building, with many of the fatalities being of Indian nationality.

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