Kuwait fire: Congress urges EAM to provide all aid to victims' families

Party says the incident shows "appalling" conditions in which Indian workers live in some Gulf nations

A video screengrab of part of the ill-fated apartment (photo: PTI)
A video screengrab of part of the ill-fated apartment (photo: PTI)


The Congress on Wednesday condoled the loss of lives in a major building fire in Kuwait and urged the external affairs ministry to provide all possible assistance to the Indian victims and their families.

The party said the incident showed the "appalling" conditions in which Indian workers live in some Gulf nations, and the government must ensure the complete safety of citizens, including proper housing facilities for them.

Several Indians were among nearly 50 people killed and 50 injured on Wednesday in the fire at a multi-storey building housing overseas workers in Kuwait, according to local officials and reports emanating from the Gulf nation.

The fire started in a kitchen in the six-storey building in the Mangaf area of Kuwait's southern Ahmadi Governorate in the early hours of Wednesday, officials said. The building reportedly housed nearly 160 people, all employees of the same company.

In a post on X, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "Anguished by the terrible tragedy in Kuwait, where several Indian labourers have lost their lives and many are said to be injured. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured. We sincerely urge the External Affairs Ministry to provide all possible assistance to the victims and their families."

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also condoled the loss of lives in the incident. "Shocked and saddened by the horrific news of the death of more than 40 Indians in a fire in Kuwait City. My deepest condolences go out to the bereaved families, and I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured (sic)," Gandhi said on X. The condition of our workers in the Middle East is a serious matter of concern, he added.

"The Government of India, working alongside its counterparts, must prioritise the safety of our citizens and ensure dignified living standards," Gandhi said.

Congress general-secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said news of the deaths of a large number of Indian workers is heartbreaking. "I pray to God for the peace of the departed souls and the speedy recovery of the injured. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families," she said in a post in Hindi on X.

"I request the external affairs minister to make proper arrangements for the treatment of the injured workers and announce compensation for the families of those who have died," she also wrote.

Congress general-secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal said, "Deeply pained by the news of our fellow Indian citizens losing their lives due to a fire in a labour camp in Kuwait. My sincere condolences to the families of the departed souls. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to urgently assist those injured in this accident and ensure handsome compensation to all victims and their families."

This incident is a stark reminder of the appalling conditions in which Indian labourers live in West Asia, Venugopal said. "The Government, in collaboration with their respective counterparts, must ensure complete safety of our citizens -- including proper housing facilities, with adequate safety precautions and amenities, to ensure they live a life of dignity," the newly-elected MP from Kerala's Alappuzha said.

In a post in Hindi on X, the Congress said, "Sad news has emerged about the death of many Indians due to a fire in a building in Kuwait. The Congress family expresses condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the accident."

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