Indian Air Force Repatriates Bodies of 45 Workers Killed in Kuwait Fire

The blaze, which broke out on Wednesday in a residential building in Mangaf city, claimed the lives of 50 people, including 45 Indians and three Filipinos, while two bodies are yet to be identified.
Indian Air Force Repatriates Bodies of 45 Workers Killed in Kuwait Fire
Indian Air Force Repatriates Bodies of 45 Workers Killed in Kuwait Fire

An Indian Air Force flight has brought back the bodies of 45 Indian workers who perished in a devastating fire in Kuwait. The blaze, which broke out on Wednesday in a residential building in Mangaf city, claimed the lives of 50 people, including 45 Indians and three Filipinos, while two bodies are yet to be identified. The fire left many workers, predominantly Indian, injured.

The residential building housed 176 Indian workers. Kuwait, highly dependent on foreign labor, has two-thirds of its population comprising migrant workers, especially in the construction and domestic sectors. Human rights groups have frequently raised concerns over their living conditions.

Indian Minister Kirti Vardhan Singh, who traveled to Kuwait following the incident, stated that DNA tests were conducted to identify the victims. Among the deceased, 23 were from Kerala, seven from Tamil Nadu, three each from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, two from Odisha, and one each from Bihar, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Haryana. The Indian government arranged a special Air Force flight to transport the bodies back to India.

The flight landed in Kochi, Kerala, on Friday morning, where the remains of workers from southern states were handed over to authorities. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state lawmakers were present at the airport to receive the bodies and pay homage. The flight then continued to Delhi with the remaining bodies.

"This is a devastating tragedy for our nation. Kerala's migrant workers are essential to our state. The fire in Kuwait is one of the gravest tragedies to affect our community," Chief Minister Vijayan stated. Both state and federal governments have announced compensation for the families of those who died in the fire.

In Kuwait, authorities are conducting inspections of health and safety conditions in various buildings housing foreign workers. According to the Arab Times, an investigation revealed that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit in the security guard’s room on the ground floor of the six-story building. A senior fire department official noted that inflammable materials had been used as partitions within the building.

Kuwait's Public Prosecution department has detained a citizen and several expatriates on charges of manslaughter and negligence for failing to implement fire safety measures. Following the incident, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Fahad Yusuf al-Sabah criticized property owners for their greed, blaming the tragedy on violations of building standards.

Indian Air Force Repatriates Bodies of 45 Workers Killed in Kuwait Fire
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