Agony for kin of those suspected dead in Kuwait fire as wait for official confirmation continues

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


Published Jun 13, 2024 | 12:13 PM Updated Jun 13, 2024 | 5:58 PM

Kuwait apartment fire

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.

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.

Mangaf inferno: EAM Jaishankar speaks to Kuwaiti counterpart, sends KV Singh

Five from Tamil Nadu among dead

Meanwhile, it is learnt that five Tamils were among the dead in the Kuwait fire incident, Tamil Nadu Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Tamils Welfare, Gingee KS Masthan said in Chennai on Thursday, quoting information shared so far by Tamil associations based abroad.

Masthan told reporters in Chennai, that the victims belong to Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram and Peravurani regions of the state and they were identified as Rama Karuppan, Veerasamy Mariappan, Chinnadurai Krishnamurthy, Mohammed Sherif and Richard.

As per Chief Minister MK Stalin’s directive, all steps are being taken to bring home the bodies and ensure necessary medical care for the injured, he said. “The Embassy (in Kuwait) has said that official information (on victims) will be provided to the state government. We are continuously monitoring.”

MK Stalin also expressed shock and grief over the Kuwait fire accident and the death of ‘over 40 Indians’ and said he had directed state authorities to ascertain if Tamils were among those affected.

Stalin said he was shocked and in grief on learning that ‘over 40 Indians’ had lost their lives in the fire accident in Kuwait city of Mangaf and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.

The Chief Minister, in a post on X, said he has directed the Commissionerate of Rehabilitation and Welfare of Non-Resident Tamils to find out if workers from Tamil Nadu were among those affected in the Kuwait fire. The Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the Indian Embassy and Tamil associations in Kuwait, he said and added that the Commissionerate may be contacted in this regard through its helpline.

All the injured are being treated at hospitals in Kuwait, he said.

On June 12, authorities in Chennai, made available the Commissionerate’s helpline numbers of +91 1800 309 3793 (within India) and +91 80 6900 9900, +91 80 6900 9901 (for calls from abroad) to get the Tamil Nadu government’s support.

Related: Several Indians killed in Kuwait apartment fire

Fire accident

The tragic fire incident in a building in Kuwait’s Mangaf city early on Wednesday killed 49 foreign workers, including around 40 Indians, and injured 50 others.

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.

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