Indians pay homage to victims of deadly Kuwait fire

Thousands of people paid homage to the Indians who died in a fire accident in Kuwait after their mortal remains were brought to the country on June 14.

Jun 14, 2024

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lays a wreath on the mortal remains of the Indians who died in the tragic fire incident in Kuwait two days ago, on June 14. (Photo: AFP)

KERALA, INDIA: Thousands of people paid homage to the Indians who died in a fire accident in Kuwait after their mortal remains were brought to the country on June 14.

A special Indian Air Force flight airlifted 45 bodies of Indians, many of them Christians, among the 50 who died in the conflagration that broke out in a six-story building in the Mafreg area in southern Kuwait on June 12.

Thirty-one persons hailed from three southern Indian states -- 23 from Kerala, seven from Tamil Nadu and one from Karnataka.

The body of one Keralite was taken to Mumbai, the capital of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Other bodies were airlifted to the national capital New Delhi.

Kerala is known for migrant workers. Among its 33 million people, close to 3 million people are expatriates, according to reports.

The Catholic Congress, attached to the Kerala-based Eastern rite Syro  Malabar Church, has expressed its deep sorrow and condolences.

“We express our deep sorrow and condolences to the families of those who lost their dear ones in the fire accident in Kuwait,” said Father Philip Kaviyil, director of the global committee of the Catholic Congress, in a statement on June 14.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and federal minister Suresh Gopi from Kerala were at the Kochi airport when the Indian Air Force flight arrived.

The bodies were sent to their families after the public paid homage. Vijayan termed their death as a “huge disaster for the country.”

Kuwaiti has arrested three persons on charges of manslaughter. One is a Kuwaiti national and two others are foreigners.

The building was housing nearly 200 workers, employed in the same company. Many victims died due to suffocation. More than 33 persons are undergoing treatment.

Low-paid, blue-collar workers from Asian nations live in overcrowded accommodations in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations like Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Kuwait relies heavily on foreign labor in industries like construction.

Joseph Jude, vice president of the Kerala Latin Catholic Council, attached to the Latin rite Church in Kerala, paid tribute to the departed souls.

Jude blamed the inadequate facilities in the labor camp where the fire occurred.

In 2022, Jude visited labor camps in Qatar during the World Cup as part of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) team.

“The number of deaths could have been reduced if the camp had better facilities,” he said.

“This is an eye opener for everyone to improve the conditions in labor camps so that no such incident occurs again,” Jude told UCA News on June 14.

Jude asked the Kuwaiti government to follow the guidelines of the ILO to ensure the safety of

Total Comments:0