21 of 40 Indians who died in Kuwait fire were from Kerala

Dubai: Twenty-one of the 40 Indians killed in a huge fire in Kuwait yesterday were from Kerala, the authorities in the southern state said today.

Kerala Health Minister Veena George will fly to Kuwait to coordinate the treatment of those injured in the fire, and to help bring bodies home, news agency PTI reported.

Junior Foreign Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh is already in Kuwait, on the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The fire killed 49 migrant workers living in a seven-storey building.

The Kerala government has announced Rs 5 lakh for the families of workers who died in the fire.

The fire is believed to have started in a kitchen of the building housing 195 migrant workers in Mangaf in the Ahmadi Governorate on Wednesday. The incident triggered calls for action against real estate landlords and company owners who violate the law to house large numbers of foreign workers in extremely unsafe conditions to cut costs.

The fire began spreading just after 4 am, when a majority of the all-male residents of the building were asleep. Soon, thick black smoke suffocated many victims, according to officials from the Interior Ministry and the fire department.

Families of the Kerala workers killed in the fire are devastated.

Ranjith from northern Kerala had gone to Kuwait over a year ago after celebrating the housewarming of his new home. He had planned to return to his village for a vacation in July, PTI reported. His village is shaken by the news of his death in the fire. “He built a house and the housewarming was held a year and a half ago… but this tragedy struck,” a neighbour told a news channel.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Wednesday ordered authorities to probe the massive fire. In a condolence message, the Emir expressed sorrow and deep sympathy for the families of those who died and wished fast recovery to the injured. The Emir directed officials to inquire into the cause of the fire and hold those who violated rules accountable, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The Kerala government on Thursday said it will provide Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to the families of the people from the state who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy that claimed 49 lives and left 50 others injured.

The decision was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the morning, a statement issued by his office said.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has offered condolences following the death of at least 40 Indians in the major fire incident at a labour housing facility in the Mangaf area of Kuwait on June 12.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news that more than 40 Indians have died in a fire in the building where the workers were staying in Mangab, Kuwait. It is with a heavy heart that I offer my deepest condolences and condolences to the families of all the deceased,” Stalin said in a post on X.