Mourning in Kerala: 24 Victims of Kuwait Fire Return in Coffins

A sombre atmosphere enveloped Kerala today as the state witnessed the tragic return of the bodies of 24 people who died in a fire in Kuwait. Each of them had embarked on journeys to Kuwait with hopes of a better life—dreams of higher incomes, comfortable homes, and their children’s education. However, they returned to their homeland not in pursuit of dreams but as mere remains, carried on the same flight that once held their aspirations.

As news of the fire engulfing the building in Mangaf, where these individuals resided, reached their families and friends, prayers for their safety filled the air. The heart-wrenching news of the loss of 24 lives within 24 hours plunged Kerala into mourning, with tears flowing involuntarily from everyone across the state. At the airport, amidst the sorrowful wails of grieving family members, government officials, including the Chief Minister and ministers, stood in stoic silence with the bereaved. The pain was palpable, with bystanders unable to do anything but witness the endless sorrow of those left behind.

An Air Force plane touched down in Kochi at 10:32 am, carrying the bodies of all 49 Indians who lost their lives in the tragic fire. Of the 45 bodies brought to Kochi, 24 were Malayalis, seven hailed from Tamil Nadu, and one from Karnataka. The flight will leave for Delhi with the remaining 18 bodies. Among the deceased was Denny Baby, a native of Kollam Karunagappally, who was a permanent resident of Mumbai. His body will be cremated in Mumbai.

As arrangements were made for their final journey home, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed profound grief, acknowledging the irreparable loss faced by the families. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Kuwaiti government and urged swift action to prevent such tragedies in the future. While addressing the media, the Chief Minister refrained from engaging in controversy, referring to the incident when the Center denied permission to Health Minister Veena George to go to Kuwait. He urged a focus, instead, on the urgent need for support and compensation for the affected families. Tamil Nadu Minister for Minorities Welfare, Gingee KS Masthan, joined in mourning to receive the bodies of the Tamil natives.

Minister K Rajan assured that every effort would be made to speed up the process of bringing the bodies to their respective homes. Representatives from the state government, accompanied by family members, solemnly paid their last respects at Nedumbassery before escorting the departed to their final resting places in specially prepared ambulances.

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