Kuwait fire: 45 Indians, 3 Filipinos identified among dead, authorities to promptly investigate incident | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Kuwait fire: 45 Indians, 3 Filipinos identified among dead, authorities to promptly investigate incident

Jun 13, 2024 07:21 PM IST

49 migrant workers were killed in the blaze and 50 others were injured. Kuwaiti authorities offered full cooperation in returning bodies to home countries

Kuwaiti authorities have identified 45 Indians and three Filipinos among the dead bodies from the devastating fire in a building in Mangaf, where 196 migrant workers lived.

Kuwait fire: 45 Indians, 3 Filipinos identified, authorities vow to investigate(HT_PRINT)
Kuwait fire: 45 Indians, 3 Filipinos identified, authorities vow to investigate(HT_PRINT)

At least 49 migrant workers were killed and 50 others injured in the fire. The country has offered their full support in repatriating the bodies of the victims and promised to speedily investigate the incident.

Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, the current First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of Defence, said that authorities have identified 48 bodies - 45 Indiansm, three Filipinos, Arab Times reported.

Efforts are still underway to determine the identity of one remaining body, said the first deputy prime minister.

Read more: Kuwait fire: 42 Indians killed in Mangaf tragedy. Who were the Kerala natives?

Kuwaiti authorities are conducting DNA tests on the bodies of those killed in the devastating fire incident in southern Kuwait's Mangaf area and an Indian Air Force aircraft is on standby to bring back the remains of Indians killed in the incident, officials said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh, who reached Kuwait to oversee assistance to Indians injured in the fire and to ensure early repatriation of mortal remains of those killed, met Kuwait's Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya who assured full support and vowed to promptly investigate the tragedy.

Singh also met some of the Indians injured in the massive fire and assured them all support from the Indian government.

Later, he called on First Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad, who conveyed condolences on behalf of the Emir and his instructions to ensure all necessary assistance and support.

Read more: Shock, grief shroud kin of Kuwait blaze victims

Singh conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's greetings to the Emir and thanked the deputy prime minister and the leadership of Kuwait for pro-active facilitation being provided by Kuwaiti authorities, the Indian mission said.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah has issued directives for the distribution of financial assistance to the families of the deceased, Sheikh Fahad said, without mentioning the quantum of the compensation. Additionally, the Emir has ordered the preparation of military aircraft to repatriate the bodies of deceased Indians back to their homeland.

Sheikh Fahad is heading an overall inspection campaign on illegal properties in many areas in Kuwait on Thursday.

The minister, accompanied by the Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipality Dr. Nora Al-Mashaan began their inspection campaign in Al-Mangaf, Al-Mahboula, Khaitan, and Jileeb Al-Shuyoukh, the paper said.

The Interior Ministry, Kuwait Municipality, Kuwait Fire Force, Ministry of Electricity and Water and Public Authority for Manpower took part in the campaign.

Read more: Kuwait fire kills Kerala man, his dream of having own house remains unfulfilled

The minister has warned that any building violation would be addressed without prior warning as of Thursday.

“As of Thursday, the Municipality and its teams will respond to all violations at all apartment buildings without prior warning,” the minister told reporters while inspecting the fire site. The owner of the affected building will be kept in custody until investigations into the causes of the fire are over, the minister added.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s public prosecutor has launched an investigation into the incident. The probe aims to uncover the circumstances behind the incident and what might have triggered the deadly fire, the public prosecutor said on X.

There has been no official word on how the blaze started or what caused it. Some local media reported that it could be a gas leak from the building’s ground floor.

Head of investigations at Kuwait Fire Department Col Sayed Al-Mousawi said that the team investigating the causes of the fire found that an inflammable material was used as partitions between apartments and also between rooms, which caused the huge black clouds of smoke.

He said that many of the victims suffocated while trying to run down the stairs because they were filled with smoke, adding that the victims could not go to the rooftop because the door was locked.

(with PTI inputs)

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