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Kuwait fire: Mourning Kerala families await official word

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: June 13, 2024 13:34 IST
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Even as the families of suspected deceased persons from Kerala mourn the loss of their loved ones in the Kuwait fire incident that claimed several lives, many of them are yet to receive any official confirmation from the authorities.

IMAGE: Vehicles are parked next to a building damaged following a deadly fire, in Mangaf, southern Kuwait, on June 12, 2024. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Television channels showed pictures of 14 persons from Kerala from across the state who lost their lives in the fire.

However, many of the families told the media that they were yet to receive any official confirmation regarding the deaths.

"His phone is still ringing. We don't know what to do," a parent was seen telling a television channel.


According to various media reports, people from Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Kottayam, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasaragod districts lost their lives in the fire.

The family of a man from Punalur in Kollam district said their friends have confirmed that he was missing.

"We are yet to receive any official confirmation, but our friends there have confirmed the incident," a relative said.

Television channels showed the houses of the suspected deceased Keralites with locals and relatives consoling the kin.

According to the Kuwaiti authorities, the incident happened in a building in the southern city of Mangaf, which killed 49 foreign workers, including around 40 Indians, and injured 50 others.

The fire started in the kitchen of the seven-storey building housing 195 migrant workers in Mangaf in the Ahmadi Governorate early on Wednesday.

The fire erupted just after 4 am when the majority of the 196 all-male residents of the building were asleep.

It resulted in huge, thick clouds of black smoke that led to the suffocation of most of the victims, according to officials from the Interior Ministry and the fire department.

Kerala govt to provide Rs 5 lakh assistance

The Kerala government on Thursday said it will provide Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the families of the people from the state who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy.

The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the morning, a statement issued by his office said.

According to information received by the government, 19 people from Kerala died in the incident, the statement said.

The cabinet also decided to provide Rs one lakh financial assistance to those injured in the incident, it said.

A decision was taken to immediately send state Health Minister Veena George to Kuwait to coordinate the efforts to provide treatment to those injured and bring back the bodies of those who died in the tragedy, it further said.

The statement also said prominent businessmen M A Yusuff Ali and Ravi Pillai have informed the CM that they will provide Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh, respectively, to each of the families of the Keralites who died in the fire.

The assistance will be provided through NORKA and with help from the two businessmen, families of each of those from the state who died in the incident will get Rs 12 lakh, the statement said.


Kerala villagers shocked

Ranjith, a resident of northern Kerala, went to Kuwait a year and a half ago after celebrating the housewarming of his new home.

He had planned to return to his village for a vacation in July.

However, his village has been shaken by the unofficial news of his death in the fire incident in a building in Mangaf.

Ranjith was known as a kind and dependable person.

He was the hope for his ailing parents, who had faced many hardships.

"He built a house and the housewarming was held a year and a half ago. He was planning to come back home in July for a vacation, but this tragedy struck," said a neighbour to a news channel.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.