Kuwait blaze: Seven Tamils among 50 killed, special aircraft to bring bodies

NRT Commissioner B Krishnamoorthy said the special flight will land in Kochi. Tamil Nadu would make arrangements to move the bodies to the victims’ homes from Kochi, officials said.
Kuwaiti firefighters and security forces gather outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12, 2024.
Kuwaiti firefighters and security forces gather outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12, 2024.(Photo | AFP)

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Tamils Welfare Gingee KS Masthan on Thursday confirmed that at least seven Tamils were among the 50 victims killed in the blaze at the residential building at Mangaf in Kuwait on Wednesday. The bodies will be brought to Kochi on a special flight on Friday, sources said.

The deceased were identified as Ramu Karuppannan (64) of Ettivayal in Ramanathapuram district, Mohammed Sharief (36) of Tindivanam in Villupuram district, Bhunaf Richard Ray (28) of Peravurani in Thanjavur, G Sivashankar (48) of Royapuram in Chennai, K Chinnadhurai (42) of Muttom in Cuddalore, V Mariappan (41) of Vanaramutty in Thoothukudi, and E Raju (53) of Tiruchy district.

Chief Minister MK Stalin late on Thursday announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of victims. The CM expressed condolences and said the bodies of the victims would be brought to India by a special flight on Friday. The state government has made arrangements for handing over the bodies to their relatives, he said. The Commissionerate of Non-Resident Tamils (NRT) is collecting the details of those who had suffered injuries and are getting treated in Kuwait hospitals. Appropriate help would be provided to the injured through the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, Stalin said.

NRT Commissioner B Krishnamoorthy said the special flight will land in Kochi. Tamil Nadu would make arrangements to move the bodies to the victims’ homes from Kochi, officials said.

Kuwaiti firefighters and security forces gather outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12, 2024.
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Krishnamoorthy said the department was in constant touch with the Indian Ambassador in Kuwait and the Ministry of External Affairs. Earlier in the day, talking to reporters after holding discussions with the CM, Masthan said 195 people were staying in the ill-fated four-storey building at Mangaf in Kuwait.

While at least 50 people had perished in the inferno, almost 50 people have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment. The Non-Resident Tamils Welfare Department has given contact numbers to get information about the affected: +91 1800 309 3793 (for those within India) and +91 80 6900 9900, +91 80 6900 9901 (for those from abroad).

AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami, former CM O Panneerselvam and Tamilaga Vettri Kazhagam leader Vijay and leaders of political parties extended their condolences.

At least 24 Keralites dead, says NORKA

The Kuwait fire has claimed the lives of at least 24 Keralites. While 23 bodies have been identified, those bodies that have not been identified yet will be subjected to DNA test and it may take two weeks for the procedure to be completed, said NORKA principal secretary Dr K Vasuki

Kuwaiti firefighters and security forces gather outside a building which was ingulfed by fire, in Kuwait City, on June 12, 2024.
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