Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Kerala bids farewell to most victims of Kuwait fire tragedy


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KOCHI, June 14: Kerala on Friday said a tearful goodbye to most of the 23 victims from the state who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy — one of the biggest incidents to ever affect the state’s expatriate community known for their dedication and hard work.
The residences of the victims witnessed heart-wrenching moments as their kin, friends and neighbours found it difficult to be consoled when the bodies arrived from Kochi in specially arranged ambulances piloted by police vehicles across the state.
Most of the victims’ bodies were buried or cremated according to their religious customs by the evening. A few families have chosen to keep the bodies of their loved ones for burial or cremation later, as they are awaiting the arrival of close relatives from abroad.
Earlier, the bodies of the 45 Indians, including 31 from three South Indian states — Kerala (23), Tamil Nadu (7), and Karnataka (1) — were brought here on a special flight.
Later, they were transported to their respective homes.
Indian Air Force (IAF) flight IAF C-130J in which the bodies were brought to Kochi later flew to New Delhi with the mortal remains of 14 victims.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh had accompanied the bodies from Kuwait.
In Kochi, it took an hour for the caskets to be brought out due to the necessary security clearances, including customs and immigration processes.
The bodies of victims from the South Indian states were received at the international airport here, where solemn tributes were paid by central and state ministers, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Officials had said that 49 people were killed in the fire in the Al-Mangaf building on June 12 and the majority of them were Indians. The remaining were Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals. The building in housed around 195 migrant workers. (PTI)


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