Kuwait

At least 3 OFWs hurt in Kuwait building fire

Michelle Abad

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At least 3 OFWs hurt in Kuwait building fire

AFTERMATH. A Kuwaiti police officer is seen in front of a burnt building following a deadly fire in Mangaf, southern Kuwait on June 12, 2024.

REUTERS

(2ND UPDATE) Two OFWs are in critical condition at a hospital, while the remaining six affected by the June 12 fire are all safe and unharmed, according to the DMW

MANILA, Philippines – At least three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) died in a building in Kuwait that caught fire on Wednesday, June 12, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said.

The three died of smoke inhalation in the building which housed foreign workers in Mangaf, a coastal city south of Kuwait City, the DMW said on Thursday, June 13.

They were among the 11 OFWs reported affected by the fire. Another two were reported in critical condition at the hospital, while the remaining six were all “safe and unharmed.”

DMW Secretary Hans Cacdac instructed the Migrant Workers Office in Kuwait, as well as the local Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office to coordinate with the Philippine embassy in Kuwait to repatriate the three workers’ remains.

Cacdac and OWWA Administrator Arnell Ignacio said they are personally reaching out to all families and relatives of the 11 affected OFWs.

“We will provide all the necessary assistance and support to the OFWs and their families in this difficult time as directed by the President,” said Cacdac.

The Mangaf building fire killed at least 49 people. Many died from smoke inhalation, and dozens were rescued.

Visiting the site, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah said “the greed of real estate owners is what leads to these matters.”

Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah ordered an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire and said that any officials found responsible would be held accountable.

It was not immediately clear if any violations had taken place at the building or what they were. Low paid, blue collar workers in the Gulf often live in overcrowded accommodation. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.