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Kuwait Fire: Indian Embassy Sets Up Helpline as Identification Process Continues

Thursday, June 13, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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Union Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh said the aftermath of a big fire in Kuwait has made it extremely difficult to identify fatalities because many of the bodies are badly burned. Upon taking office, the Minister of State for External Affairs soon visited Kuwait and reported that identity was being confirmed by continuous DNA testing. Once identifications are finished, an Indian Air Force aircraft is prepared to return the bodies to India so that relatives can be contacted and the remains returned.

At least 48 persons were tragically killed in the fire that started in the kitchen of a Mangaf city building, mostly from smoke inhalation in the early morning hours. From the about 200 people living in the six-story building, 42 are thought to be Indian nationals.

Leading a high-level conference to discuss the disaster, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ₹2 lakh in compensation for each victim's family. About fifty injured survivors received his condolences and best wishes for a quick recovery. Together with the police, survivors are helping to identify severely charred bodies.

In his meetings with Kuwaiti authorities, Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar stressed the need of the injured receiving appropriate medical care and the dead being repatriated quickly. As the first victim list is expected to be released shortly, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait set up a helpline for impacted families.

As Tamil Nadu verified five victims and Kerala confirmed 21, regional authorities including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Kerala officials conveyed their condolences. How more than 160 individuals were accommodated in the premises is being investigated, and there are hints of possible legal action against those involved.

Since a large number of Indians work and live in Kuwait, the tragedy has had a profound effect on the Indian community overseas.

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