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At least 41 die in a fire at a building housing workers in Kuwait

This is a locator map for the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo)
Original Publication Date June 12, 2024 - 2:01 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — At least 41 people died when a fire swept through a building that housed workers in Kuwait early Wednesday, and officials said the blaze appeared to be linked to code violations.

Interior Minister Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah confirmed the toll and ordered the arrest of the building’s owner during a visit to the site, local media reported.

“We will address the issue of labor overcrowding,” he said. "I’m now going to see what violations were committed here and I will deal with the owner of the property.”

Local media said scores of workers were living in the building in the southern Mangaf district, without giving their nationality.

Col. Sayed Hassan al-Mousawi, head of the firefighters' Accident Investigation Department, said there were dozens of casualties and that the final death toll may be higher.

Kuwait, like other Persian Gulf countries, has a large community of migrant workers who far outnumber the local population. The nation of some 4.2 million people is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey but has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

A fire at an oil refinery in 2022 killed four people.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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