49 perish in Mangaf inferno

49 perish in Mangaf inferno


  • Crackdown on building violations begins
  • Severe penalties await landlords
  • Kuwait Municipality suspends officials
  • Indian ambassador visits injured

KUWAIT CITY, Jun 12:His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent on Wednesday a cable of condolences to the families of the victims of the conflagration in an apartment building fire in Mangaf, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens. His Highness expressed his sincere sorrow and deep sympathy to the families of the victims, and a fast recovery to the injured. His Highness directed officials to follow up to the causes of the fire outbreak and hold whomever responsible and accountable. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also sent on Wednesday a cable of condolences to the families of the victims of the conflagration in an apartment building fire in Mangaf, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah sent on Wednesday a cable of condolences to the families of the victims of the conflagration in an apartment building fire in Mangaf, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens. The death toll from a devastating fire that engulfed in a multi-story building in Al-Mangaf’s southern district early on Wednesday has risen to 49, the Ministry of Interior announced Major General Nasser Abu- Slaib, the MoI Security Information Director, affirmed in a press release that the landlords of the burned building would be stiffl y penalized.

Personnel of the MoI’s directorate general of criminal evidence are investigating the causes of the fire and identifying some victims. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah has ordered the relevant officials to instantly follow up on the tragic occurence, seek to identify its causes and bring those responsible to account. Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah warned Wednesday that any building violation would be addressed without prior warning as of Thursday.

Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and Interior Minister, visits the site of the tragic fire where 49 lives were lost

The minister gave the warning in the aftermath of a huge conflagration that killed at least 49 people and injured more than 50 others in an apartment building fire in Mangaf area in Kuwait’s southern Ahmadi Governorate. “As of tomorrow (Thursday), the Municipality and its teams will respond to all violations at all apartment buildings without prior warning,” the minister told reporters while inspecting the fire site. The owner of the blaze building will be kept in custody until investigations into the causes of the fire are over, the minister pointed out. Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousef visited Al-Adan Hospital and Mubarak Hospital to inquire about the health of those injured in the morning fire at a residential building in the Mangaf area. During the visit, the Minister of Interior received a detailed briefing from Ministry of Health officials on the health status of the affected individuals.

Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipality Dr. Noura Al-Mashaan suspended on Wednesday administrators at Al-Ahmadi Municipal branch pending investigations into the fire that engulfed a building in Mangaf area. In a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Dr. Al-Mashaan affirmed that she instructed the Municipality to open a full investigation into the matter. In view of the dire repercussions and high number of deaths caused by the building fire in Mangaf on Wednesday; Director General of Kuwait Municipality Saud Al-Dabbous issued urgent decisions to suspend the Deputy Director-General for Hawally and Ahmadi Governorate Affairs, acting Director of Ahmadi Municipality Branch, Director of the Audit, Followup and Engineering Department and Head of the Violations Removal Department in Ahmadi in the interest of the public. Al-Dabbous then assigned the abovementioned officials’ counterparts in other branches to carry out their work until the completion of investigations into the circumstances that led to this painful tragedy.

In a press statement, Al-Dabbous stressed that no one is above the law and that the law is strictly implemented to protect lives, properties and public interest. He affirmed that the Municipality had previously intensified its monitoring campaigns on real estate properties, particularly the basements being used for purposes other than their licensed activities. “At that time, the heads of the concerned sectors were instructed to immediately form monitoring campaign teams from the audit, follow-up and engineering departments, the emergency and rapid intervention units, and the violations removal departments to inspect real estate properties in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and Kuwait Fire Force, as well as to take the necessary action regarding transgressions or violations,” he added. In conclusion, he expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the deceased; imploring Almighty Allah to cover them with His vast mercy and grant their families patience and solace.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Adarsh Swaika has confirmed he is following up on developments regarding the Mangaf fire, and that the embassy provided assistance to all those injured. During his visit to Adan Hospital, Swaika revealed that more than 30 Indian workers who were injured in the fire accident were admitted Wednesday and a number of them were treated; while the hospital officials reported that almost all of them are stable.

First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah visits Al-Adan Hospital and Mubarak Hospital to inquire about the health of those injured in the morning fire at a building in the Mangaf area.

In addition, the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry posted on ‘X’ social media networking site that they were deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait; and reports indicate that it led to more than 40 deaths and more than 50 were rushed to the hospital. The ministry stated: “Our ambassador has gone to the site. We are waiting for more information. We express our sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives tragically, and we wish speedy and complete recovery for the injured. Our embassy will provide all forms of assistance to all those affected.” Elsewhere, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sadness over the tragic fire in Kuwait City. He extended heartfelt condolences to all those who lost loved ones and prayed for the quick recovery of the injured.

By Inaas Awadh and Fares Al-Abdan
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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Earlier today — The Director General of the Forensic Department, Major General Eid Al-Owaihan, stated that the death toll from the Al-Mangaf building fire has exceeded 35, with 15 injured individuals admitted to hospitals, four of whom later died. The majority of the deceased were Indian nationals working for NBTC group, with ages ranging between twenty and fifty years. The building houses over 195 laborers, primarily Indians from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and North India. It is rented by the NBTC group.
Sources also revealed that five firefighters sustained injuries during the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Muhammad Al-Gharib, Director of Public Relations in the General Fire Force, stated that preliminary statistics indicate multiple fatalities and injuries. The fire, which erupted in a densely populated workers’ residence, was reported to the fire department at 4:30 am and quickly controlled. Most deaths were due to smoke inhalation while residents were sleeping, and a significant number of occupants were evacuated.

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Authorities are currently managing numerous fatalities and injuries resulting from the Mangaf building fire. Sources informed that multiple fire stations handled the incident, while hospitals are receiving the injured.

Gas cylinders on ground floor of the building

The Ministry of Health has provided comprehensive medical care to 43 individuals affected by the fire, with various degrees of injuries, including severe ones, and confirmed four deaths. The injured have been distributed among several hospitals: 21 cases at Al-Adan Hospital, 6 at Al-Farwaniyah Hospital, 1 at Al-Amiri Hospital, 11 at Mubarak Hospital, and 4 at Jaber Hospital, ensuring they receive the necessary treatment. Medical teams are working tirelessly to offer immediate and intensive care.

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The Ministry is closely monitoring the condition of the injured and coordinating with relevant hospitals and authorities to meet all necessary needs and provide the best possible treatment services. Specialized medical teams have also been formed to follow up on the injured and offer psychological and moral support to them and their families.

The First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Fahd Al-Yousef, along with the Governors of Mubarak Al-Kabeer and Ahmadi, are currently at the Mangaf fire site. Sheikh Fahd Al-Yousef has ordered the detention of the company official and the building guard at the Criminal Department.

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As per eyewitnesses of the tragic Al-Mangaf building fire recounted harrowing tales of the catastrophe, describing scenes of horror and heroism amidst the chaos. According to their narratives, the sight of flames engulfing the building, accompanied by billowing smoke from every crevice, instilled fear and dread among onlookers.

One witness recalled a particularly distressing incident where a resident worker, driven by desperation to escape the inferno, leaped from the fifth floor, meeting a tragic end as he struck the balcony’s edge.

Firefighters swiftly responded to the scene, managing to contain the blaze in a remarkably short time. However, the early morning outbreak caught many residents unaware and asleep, resulting in numerous fatalities as thick smoke filled the corridors, leaving occupants trapped and struggling to breathe.

Amidst the chaos, the diligence and professionalism of the firefighters, coupled with residents’ adherence to safety instructions, proved instrumental in saving lives. Many were able to escape the suffocating smoke by following firefighters’ guidance and seeking refuge on the building’s roof.

Witnesses highlighted the closure of ground passages within the building as a contributing factor to the severity of the suffocation experienced by many victims. This obstruction hindered residents’ movement and further compounded the challenge of evacuating the building swiftly.

As investigations into the tragic incident continue, the accounts of eyewitnesses serve as poignant reminders of both the devastation wrought by the fire and the resilience displayed by individuals in the face of adversity.

Engineer Saud Al-Dabbous, the Director General of Kuwait Municipality

In the wake of the devastating Mangaf property fire tragedy, Engineer Saud Al-Dabbous, the Director General of Kuwait Municipality wasted no time in issuing urgent decisions to address the situation. He announced the suspension of several key officials, including the Deputy Director General for Hawalli and Al-Ahmadi Governorate Affairs, the Acting Director of the Al-Ahmadi Municipality Branch, the Director of the Audit, Follow-up, and Engineering Department, and the Head of the Violations Removal Department in Al-Ahmadi. These suspensions were enacted in the interest of public safety, pending the completion of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.

The Indian Ambassador, Dr Adarsh Swaika, visited Al-Adan Hospital to check on the Indian workers injured in the Mangaf fire. Approximately 30 Indian workers are being treated at this hospital. He assured them of the embassy’s full support and assistance.

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