Over 40 Indians killed in Kuwaiti baze

Those who have sustained injuries are admitted and treated in five government hospitals in Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra…reports Asian Lite News

Around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 are injured in a tragic fire incident at a labour housing facility in the Mangaf area of Kuwait on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The people who have sustained injuries are admitted and treated in five government hospitals in Kuwait: Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra hospitals.

Citing the hospital authorities, the MEA reported that most of the admitted patients are stable.

“The Embassy is ascertaining the full details from the concerned Kuwaiti authorities and the company. We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” the MEA said in a release on Wednesday night.

Following the incident, the Ambassador of India in Kuwait, Adarsh Swaika, immediately visited the location of the incident and also the hospitals to ascertain the welfare of the Indian nationals.

“The Embassy continues to coordinate with local authorities to assist Indian nationals who have been injured in this unfortunate incident and extend all possible support,” the MEA release said, noting that the Embassy is receiving full cooperation from the Kuwaiti authorities.

“On the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of State Kirti Vardhan Singh is immediately travelling to Kuwait to work towards early repatriation of mortal remains as well as for medical assistance to those injured,” the release added.

Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Kuwait continues to remain in touch with local authorities to provide relief to those affected in the incident.

The Embassy has established a helpline +965-65505246 (WhatsApp and regular call) for family members to get in touch. Regular updates are being provided through the helpline.

Earlier, soon after the news of the fire incident in Kuwait broke out, Prime Minister Modi chaired a review meeting and announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister Relief Fund to the families of deceased Indian nationals.

PM Modi expressed his deep sorrow at the unfortunate incident and extended condolences to the families of the deceased. He further wished for the speedy recovery of those injured and assured all possible assistance from the Indian government.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office official statement, “The meeting was chaired at his residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi.”

“Prime Minister announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the families of deceased India nationals from the Prime Minister Relief Fund,” the statement added.

The Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, the Minister of State for External Affairs Kirtivardhan Singh, the PM’s Principal Secretary, Pramod Kumar Mishra, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

‘Shameer had visited eight months ago’

The Kuwait fire incident claimed the lives of around 40 Indian workers and among them is 30-year-old Shameer, hailing from Sooranad village in Kerala’s Kollam district.

Safedu, Shameer’s relative, said, “He (Shameer) left here five years ago. He works for a company in Kuwait run by three people from Pathanamthitta. Two years ago, he came back and got married, and it’s been eight months since he left again.”

Shameer worked as a heavy vehicle driver in Kuwait. The family learned about the incident at 11:00 am on Wednesday, the relative said.

“Najeeb, who works with Shameer and lives a kilometre away, informed us. We contacted several people in Kuwait. He was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital. The body is currently at a government hospital. No official information has been provided yet,” Safedu said.

He further said that the people in Kuwait are keeping them informed.

“Shameer’s wife and mother have not been told about his death; they have been told he is in the ICU. We have been informed that the Finance Minister will visit in the coming days. MP Kodikunnil Suresh called, and we request that the central and state governments intervene to bring Shameer’s body back home as soon as possible,” Safedu said.

Jalaludeen, Najeeb’s father, who survived the fire, said that his son broke his leg while he was trying to escape the fire.

“Najeeb has been in Kuwait for four years. He called and informed me that a building caught fire in Kuwait and that Shameer had died. My son Najeeb jumped from the second floor to escape and broke his leg, but he said there were no other major issues.”

Jalaludeen further said that his son couldn’t come home immediately as he needs to complete his treatment and other formalities.

“I learned from the news channel that 11 people died. We didn’t get any information from anyone in Kuwait. I found out that it was a company run by Malayalees. Najeeb’s treatment is ongoing in coordination with the embassy,” Jalaludeen said.

Al Ameen, Najeeb’s brother said, “I video-called my brother in the afternoon. Someone knocked on the door, and when they opened it, there was smoke. After that, he grabbed his phone and jumped from the building. His leg is broken. By evening, he had been moved to his camp. He called home a little while ago and spoke with his wife. Those near his room were saddened when they learned about the deaths.”

Shanavas, a friend of Shameer and Najeeb, informed that he received the information of fire on the morning of June 12. “I found out about the incident this morning. It was a huge shock. Learning that Shameer had died was devastating. When I heard that Najeeb had survived, I called and spoke to him. I didn’t know what to say. I’m still in shock.” (ANI)

ALSO READ-Kerala Mourns 13 Victims of Kuwait Fire


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