Kuwait fire: 42 Indians killed in Mangaf tragedy. Who were the Kerala natives? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kuwait fire: 42 Indians killed in Mangaf tragedy. Who were the Kerala natives?

Jun 13, 2024 10:21 AM IST

Kuwait fire: The total number of people killed in the Al-Mangaf building in is 49 and 42 of them are learnt to be Indians.

Around 42 Indians, including at least five from Kerala, were killed and over 50 injured in a devastating fire that broke out at dawn in a building housing around 195 migrant workers in southern Kuwait's Mangaf area, reports claimed on Wednesday.

A member of the Kuwaiti security forces stands outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12. (AFP)
A member of the Kuwaiti security forces stands outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12. (AFP)

The total number of people killed in the Al-Mangaf building is 49 and 42 of them are learnt to be Indians; the remaining ones are Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals, media reports said.

“In an unfortunate and tragic fire incident earlier today in a Labour housing facility in Mangaf area of Kuwait, around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured,” the ministry of external affairs said in a statement late on Wednesday night. Follow Live Updates on Kuwait fire

The incident was the worst building fire in Kuwait’s history, and it triggered calls for action against landlords and company owners who “violate the law to house large numbers of foreign laborers in extremely unsafe conditions to cut costs”, the Kuwait Times newspaper reported.

Among the victims was 48-year-old Vadakkottuvilayil Lukose, a supervisor with NBTC group, which has KG Abraham, a businessman from Kerala, as its managing director, The Indian Express reported.

Vadakkottuvilayil Lukose hailed from Adichanalloor panchayat in Kollam, and had been in Kuwait for the last 18 years.

Shameer Umarudheen, a resident of Vayyankara in Kerala, worked as a heavy vehicle driver in Kuwait. Onmanorama, citing his relatives, reported that Shameer Umarudheen may have jumped off the flat in panic. He was the second son of Umarudheen and Safeena. He was married to Surumi.

Shameer and his family were earlier staying at Payyakode in Pooyapally gram panchayat. Later they moved to Vayyankara. He got married two years ago. He called his parents and family from Kuwait four days ago. He had come home nine months ago, it reported.

The family learned about the incident at 11am on Wednesday, a relative of Shameer told news agency ANI.

The Kuwait fire incident also took the life of Kasaragod native Kelu Ponmaleri. A resident of Thrikaripur town in Kasaragod, Kelu Ponmaleri was working as a production engineer with NBTC Group. He is survived by his wife, KN Mani, who is a Panchayat employee and two sons.

The other deceased has been identified as 34-year-old Ranjith, also from Kasaragad, who was working in Kuwait for the last 10 years.

MoS Kirti Vardhan Singh leaves for Kuwait

Before leaving for Kuwait in order to take a stock of the situation there, Union minister of state for external affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh said some of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition.

"The rest of the situation will be clear the moment we reach there," Kirti Vardhan said.

Speaking to ANI at the Delhi Airport before flying for Kuwait, the MoS said, "We had a meeting last evening with the Prime Minister, that is the last update we have about this very sad tragedy... The rest of the situation will be clear the moment we reach there..."

On being asked about the plan of repatriation of the mortal remains of those who lost lives, he said, “The situation is that the victims are mostly burn victims and some of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition. So a DNA test is underway to identify the victims.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with the team of the MEA and other officials on Wednesday evening over the fire incident in Kuwait.

Modi expressed his sadness over the fire mishap, adding that his thoughts are with the family and close ones of the victims of the incident.

(With inputs from agencies)

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