Kuwait Fire Tragedy: 24 Keralites Among 42 Indians Killed, State Govt Announces Rs 5 L Compensation

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Kuwait Fire Tragedy: 24 Keralites Among 42 Indians Killed, State Govt Announces Rs 5 L Compensation

| Updated: June 13, 2024 18:35

At least 24 people from Kerala have died in the building that caught fire in Kuwait’s Mangaf city on Wednesday. Around 195 workers, most of them from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, were housed in the building. It’s estimated that seven individuals are in serious condition, and the toll will rise. 

The surviving members of the deceased have been offered Rs 5 lakh in compensation by the Kerala government, and a delegation headed by Health Minister Veena George is scheduled to visit Kuwait to facilitate the repatriation of the remains and extend assistance.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presided over a cabinet meeting on Thursday, during which the decision was made.

A senior official from the Non-resident Keralities Association (NoRKA-Roots), Ajith, said, “The death toll will be confirmed after all identification has been completed. There are still a few bodies that have not been identified for which DNA tests will be conducted.” 

The Kerala government oversees Norka, which provides assistance desks across many nations and handles the needs of Keralites who do not live in India. The organisation has established a 24-hour missed call service at +918802012345 (from abroad) and 1800 425 3939 (from India) for assistance.

The NBTC group, owned by KG Abraham, a businessman from Kerala, is the owner of the building that caught fire. On Wednesday, around 4.30 a.m., the fire started. 

Media houses reported that around 18 people escaped unharmed as they had left the building around 4 a.m. to commence their morning duty.

In addition to the Rs 5 lakh in compensation that the government of Kerala has provided, industrialists Ravi Pillai and MA Yusuf Ali have also shown support for the families. Yusuf Ali has promised to provide every family with Rs 5 lakh, whereas Ravi Pillai has said that each family will receive Rs 2 lakh. The Norka Department will handle the allocation of the funds.

George Pothen, a Pathanamthitta resident and father of one of the victims, told the media that his son had only travelled to Kuwait last month to start a teaching position at an engineering college. 

“He got his salary on the 5th of this month and transferred it to us the same day. We spoke to him on Tuesday night also,” he said.

A sister of one of the deceased said, “When the news of the fire came on TV, I knew it was the same company where my brother worked. We tried to believe that my brother would be safe, but it was not to be. We got the news that he had passed away when his name was flashed on the TV channels. We are yet to tell the news to our aged mother.”

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