Kuwait fire: Death toll of Keralites climbs to 19


Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, on June 12, 2024.

Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building, in Mangaf, Kuwait, on June 12, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI

The Kerala Cabinet on June 13 confirmed that the number of Keralites who died in the fire that ripped through a labour camp in Kuwait has climbed to 19 amidst fears that the death toll of workers from the State might rise further. 

The government also announced an ex gratia payment of ₹5 lakh for the families of the deceased and ₹1 lakh for the next of kin of those who suffered burn and fall injuries in the disaster. 

The Cabinet announced that two prominent businesspersons from Kerala, M.A. Yusuff Ali and Ravi Pillai, informed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that they would donate ₹5 lakh and ₹2 lakh, respectively, to the families of the deceased in addition to the government’s aid, increasing the total compensation to ₹12 lakh. The Cabinet said the businesspersons would channel their payments to the bereaved families via the Non-Resident Keralite’s Affairs. 

The Cabinet also decided to dispatch a delegation headed by Health Minister Veena George. The State director of the National Health Mission, Jeevan Babu, will accompany Ms. George.

Ms. George will coordinate efforts to repatriate the bodies of the deceased to their home State and aid in providing the best medical care to those injured in the fire. 

Kerala’s Special Officer in New Delhi, K.V. Thomas, would coordinate with the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Kuwait. 

The Cabinet has also enlisted the Keralite diaspora and Malayali associations in the Gulf to assist injured persons. It has opened a helpdesk and a global contact centre. 

Non-resident Keralites (NRKs) can contact the NoRKA Global Contact Centre at the 24-hour toll-free number 1800 425 3939 (from India) or +91-8802 012 345 (from abroad, missed call service).

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