At least 41 people have been killed in a fire at a residential building in the Kuwaiti city of Mangaf, the Interior Ministry says.

Video shared on social media showed flames engulfing the lower part of the building and thick black smoke billowing from the upper floors.

At least another 15 were injured and taken to hospital, officials said. Many of the casualties are said to be foreign workers who lived there.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the fire was now under control and rescue efforts were continuing.

Maj-Gen Eid al-Oweihan told state TV that the fire was reported at 06:00 local time (03:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf al-Sabah accused real estate owners of violations and “greed” as he visited the scene, according to Reuters news agency.

Local media reports have suggested that the building may have been overcrowded.

A senior police officer told state TV that there were a “large number” of people in the building at the time of the fire.

“Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire,” he said, adding that warnings were often issued about overcrowding in this type of accommodation.

No details have so far been given about the workers’ countries of origin or the nature of their employment.

BBC/Adebukola Aluko

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