IAF aircraft bringing back 45 bodies from Kuwait; one injured Indian succumbs | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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IAF aircraft bringing back 45 bodies from Kuwait; one injured Indian succumbs

Jun 14, 2024 10:23 AM IST

The C-130J Hercules aircraft took off from Kuwait early on Friday morning and is expected to land first at Kochi in Kerala at around 11am

An Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft was bringing back bodies of 45 Indian nationals who died in a devastating fire in Kuwait even as the number of Indians who lost their lives rose following the death of one of the injured in hospital.

The fire broke out early on Wednesday at a building at Mangaf in southern Kuwait that housed 196 foreign workers. (ANI photo)
The fire broke out early on Wednesday at a building at Mangaf in southern Kuwait that housed 196 foreign workers. (ANI photo)

The C-130J Hercules aircraft took off from Kuwait early on Friday morning and is expected to land first at Kochi in Kerala at around 11am, before flying on to New Delhi. Twenty-three of the dead were from Kerala and their bodies will be handed over to authorities in Kochi before the aircraft resumes its journey to the national capital.

Minister of state for external affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh, who was sent to Kuwait to oversee relief measures and to facilitate the expeditious repatriation of bodies, is returning in the IAF aircraft.

Also Read: Kuwaiti authorities detain 2 for fire, say blaze was caused by short circuit

One of the injured died overnight, Kuwait’s foreign minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya told local reporters, taking the total number of dead to 50. People familiar with the matter said the injured person who died was an Indian, taking the number of Indian deaths to 46. The fire also killed three Filipinos while one body is yet to be identified.

The fire broke out early on Wednesday at a building at Mangaf in southern Kuwait that housed 196 foreign workers. Of them, 176 were Indian nationals and 33 were being treated in different hospitals, the Indian embassy in Kuwait said in a statement.

The 45 dead Indians belonged to 12 states, with Kerala accounting for the highest number with 23. The others were from Tamil Nadu (seven), Andhra Pradesh (three), Uttar Pradesh (three), Odisha (two), Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and West Bengal (one each).

The Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has ordered cash handouts for the families of the victims of the fire, Kuwait Times newspaper reported.

Kuwait’s public prosecutor on Thursday ordered the detention of a Kuwaiti national and two expatriates on charges of manslaughter and wrongful injury, according to an official statement. Prosecution officials visited the injured at different hospitals late on Wednesday to record their statements.

Kuwait’s deputy prime minister Sheikh Fahad Yousef Saud Al-Sabah, who is also the interior minister, said the ministry will establish a hotline for people to report safety violations in buildings to authorities. This will allow authorities to take immediate action. Inspections will continue to ensure that all violations are addressed and safety rules are implemented to prevent such disasters, he said.

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