Tragic Fire in Kuwait Claims Lives of 25 Malayalis: Families Seek Support

A devastating fire broke out in a multi-storey building in Mangaf city, Kuwait’s southern Ahmadi governorate, resulting in the tragic deaths of 49 people, including 25 Malayalis. The building, owned by NBTC Company and housing employees of an expatriate Malayali’s company, caught fire early in the morning around 4:30 am local time (7 am in India). The fire spread rapidly, causing extensive damage and making several bodies unrecognizable due to severe burns. Many victims died attempting to escape by jumping from the top floors of the building.

Among the identified victims are Shemeer (30) from Kollam Sooranad, Stephin Abraham Sabu (30) from Kottayam Pampady, Kelu Ponmaleri (55) from Thrikaripur, Akash S Nair (32) from Pandalam, PV Muraleedharan (54) from Pathanamthitta Vazhamuttom, Sajan George (28) from Punalur, Lucose Vadakkotte Unnunni from Kollam, Saju Varghese from Konni, Ranjith Kundadukkam from Cherkkalam, and Lucose from Chathannoor. The community is deeply mourning their loss and seeking support for the affected families, with many still awaiting the repatriation of the mortal remains of their loved ones.

The tragedy has also resulted in over 50 people being hospitalized, with seven in critical condition. Rescue operations were conducted swiftly, but the death toll is expected to rise. The fire is believed to have started due to a short circuit, possibly exacerbated by cooking activities of the security guards. The building lacked adequate safety norms and did not have a lift facility, which contributed to the high number of casualties. Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Saud Al-Sabah has ordered the arrest of the building owner, security guard, and company owners.

In response to the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a compensation of ₹2 lakh for the families of the Indian victims. An emergency high-level meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s residence, and Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh was dispatched to Kuwait to oversee relief operations. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait has been actively providing assistance, with Ambassador Adarsh Swaika visiting the accident site and the injured. The embassy has also set up a helpline (+965-65505246) for those seeking information and support.

This tragic incident underscores the importance of strict adherence to safety regulations and highlights the urgent need for robust support systems for expatriates in crisis situations. The affected families are in dire need of assistance, and the community is coming together to provide support during this difficult time.

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