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Jaishankar Speaks To Kuwaiti Counterpart Following Fire Tragedy

The total number of people killed in the Al-Mangaf building is 49 and 42 of them are learnt to be Indians; the remaining ones are Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals, according to officials.

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'Assured Full Investigation': Jaishankar Speaks To Kuwaiti Counterpart, Requests Early Repatriation Of Indian Mortals Following Fire Tragedy
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during a review meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a fire incident in Kuwait, in New Delhi, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A fire engulfed a multi-storey building in Kuwait housing foreign workers, mostly Indians, on Wednesday, killing at least 49 people and injuring more than 50 others, according to officials. (PTI Photo)

In the aftermath of the devastating fire in Kuwait that claimed the lives of around 40 Indians, the External Affairs Minister spoke to his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya, and urged the early repatriation of the mortal remains of those who lost their lives in the incident. Jaishankar said that he was assured that the incident would be fully investigated. “Spoke to Kuwaiti FM Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya on the fire tragedy in Kuwait. Apprised of the efforts made by Kuwaiti authorities in that regard. Was assured that the incident would be fully investigated and that responsibility will be fixed,” Jaishankar wrote on X.

“Urged the early repatriation of the mortal remains of those who lost their lives. He (Kuwaiti FM) emphasized that those injured were getting the requisite medical attention,” the post stated. He further added that the situation will be reviewed once the Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh reaches Kuwait on Thursday (June 13).

Around 40 Indians were killed and over 50 injured in a devastating fire that broke out at dawn in a building housing around 195 migrant workers in southern Kuwait’s Mangaf area, officials said on Wednesday. The total number of people killed in the Al-Mangaf building is 49 and 42 of them are learnt to be Indians; the remaining ones are Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals, they said.

“In an unfortunate and tragic fire incident earlier today in a Labour housing facility in Mangaf area of Kuwait, around 40 Indians are understood to have died and over 50 injured,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement late on Wednesday night.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who described the incident as “saddening”, reviewed the situation at a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra among others.

Following the meeting, the prime minister announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the deceased Indian nationals from the PM Relief Fund and directed that the government should extend all possible assistance.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh is urgently travelling to Kuwait following a direction from PM Modi to oversee assistance to Indians injured in the fire and to ensure early repatriation of mortal remains of those killed.

“We had a meeting last evening with the PM… The situation will be cleared the moment we reach there… The situation is that the victims are mostly burn victims and some of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition. A DNA test is underway to identify the victims. An Air Force plane is on the ready. As soon as the bodies are identified, the kin will be informed and our airforce plane will bring the bodies back… The latest figures that we had last night, the casualty figures are around 48-49 out of this 42 or 43 are believed to be Indians,” he said.

Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said criminal evidence department personnel are currently working on identifying the victims and revealing the cause of the fire.







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