Kuwait identifies bodies of 45 Indians, 3 Filipino nationals

Team Parvasi – Inside

Kuwait identifies bodies of 45 Indians, 3 Filipino nationals

Kuwait: Kuwait on Thursday said authorities have identified the bodies of 45 Indians and three Filipino nationals killed in the tragic fire incident in a building housing foreign workers as the Gulf Kingdom vowed to promptly investigate the incident and assured full support in repatriating the mortal remains of the victims.

At least 49 foreign workers were killed and 50 others injured in the fire on Wednesday at the seven-storey building where 196 migrant workers were staying in the southern city of Mangaf.

Sheikh Fahad Al-Yousuf Al-Sabah, serving as the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Minister of Defence, said that authorities have identified 48 bodies, among which 45 are of Indians and three are of Filipino nationality, English language daily Arab Times reported.

The efforts are still under way to determine the identity of one remaining body, said the First Deputy Prime Minister. 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 mortal 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.

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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.

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.

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