Kuwait fire tragedy: Bodies of 31 Indians brought to Kochi airport, tributes paid

The Uncut

Kochi. Of the total 45 Indians who lost their lives in a fire in a multi-storey building in Kuwait two days ago, 31 were from southern states and their bodies were brought to Kochi International Airport by plane on Friday morning. Central and state ministers, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, paid tribute to the dead here. An Indian Air Force plane from Kuwait carrying the bodies of Indians killed in the fire landed at the international airport here at around 10.30 am on Friday.

The bodies of 31 Indians out of 45 brought by the Indian Air Force’s C-130J transport aircraft were landed here. After this, the aircraft left for Delhi with the bodies of other Indians. Officials said that the 31 people from southern states who died in the Kuwait fire include 23 from Kerala, seven from Tamil Nadu and one from Karnataka. Chief Minister Vijayan told reporters at the airport here that the NRIs are the lifeline of Kerala and the death of such a large number of Indian expatriates in the fire is like a ‘big disaster for the country’. He said that this incident is a big disaster for the expatriate community as well.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “This is an irreparable loss for the families of the deceased. The Kuwait government took effective action after this accident and the Indian government also cooperated well.” He said, “Appropriate steps need to be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents and I hope that the Kuwait government will take the required action for this. The Chief Minister also expressed hope that the Kuwait government will decide to provide adequate compensation to the families of the deceased.

He said, “The Indian government should contact the Kuwait government for this and expedite the action because the people who lost their lives there had gone there to earn a livelihood. No amount of help can be enough for the bereaved families.” Minister of State for Tourism and Petroleum Suresh Gopi was also present at the Kochi airport to pay tribute to the deceased. During this, he said that due to the hard work done by the ‘migrants’ while working abroad, they are highly respected by the state and the center.
He said, “This tragedy is very sad.” Chief Minister Vijayan paid tribute to the deceased by laying flowers on their coffins. Suresh Gopi paid tribute to them by offering red roses.

Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh and Tamil Nadu Minister for Minority Welfare and Non-Resident Tamil Welfare K S Masthan, who came in the Indian Air Force plane that brought the bodies of the deceased, also paid tribute to the dead. The police gave a ‘guard of honour’ to the dead. Airport authorities said that the customs, immigration and airport health office related procedures for 45 bodies were completed at CIAL itself. He said that after unloading the bodies of 31 Indians at the airport, the remaining 14 bodies were sent to Delhi in the same Indian Air Force plane.

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