24 Malayalis among 42 Indians killed in Kuwait fire

A total of 49 foreign nationals were killed in the massive fire

Kirti Vardhan Singh in Kuwait on 13 June to check on the injured Indian nationals (photo: PTI)
Kirti Vardhan Singh in Kuwait on 13 June to check on the injured Indian nationals (photo: PTI)

NH Digital

At least 49 people, including 24 Malayalis, were killed in a massive fire in a six-storeyed building in Mangaf block of Kuwait's Al Ahmadi governorate on Wednesday, 12 June.

It has been reported that at least 42 of those who died were Indians; the remaining casualties were Pakistani, Filipino, Egyptian and Nepali nationals.

The Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) confirmed that 24 Keralites were killed in the fire. However, only 17 have been identified so far. Besides Malayalis, the casualties include people from Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Those injured have been admitted in five government hospitals — Adan, Jaber, Farwaniya, Mubarak Al Kabeer and Jahra — in Kuwait. Of the 35 people admitted for intensive care, the condition of seven is critical and at least five are on ventilator support.

India's minister of state for external affairs, Kirti Vardhan Singh, has reached Kuwait to oversee assistance to those injured in the tragic incident.

According to preliminary reports, the fire was traced to a cooking gas cylinder explosion in the quarters of an Egyptian security guard. The fire broke out on the ground floor of Block 4.

The building's owner, also the company sponsor, is a Kuwaiti native. The building accommodated 195 individuals across various apartments, with 92 residents reported safe and 20 absent due to night duty.

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on Wednesday ordered authorities to probe the massive fire and vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the tragedy that killed at least 49 people.

The director general of the forensic department, Maj. Gen. Eid Al-Owaihan, said the majority of the deceased were Indian nationals, mostly from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, besides a few from north India.

List of identified Keralites who died in the fire:

  1. Akash S. Nair (23) from Pandalam. He was working in Kuwait for past 6 years

  2. Umarudheen Shameer (33) from Kollam Pooyappally. He was a driver in Kuwait

  3. Stefin Abraham Sabu (29) from Kottayam Pampady. He was an engineer

  4. K.R. Ranjith (34) from Kundadukam, Cherkala, in Chengala panchayat, Kasaragod. He was a store keeper. Ranjith had been in Kuwait for the past 10 years 

  5. Kelu Ponmaleri (55) from Kasaragod. He was a production engineer. He is survived by wife K.N. Mani, an employee at Pilicode Panchayat office, and two sons

  6. P.V. Muraleedharan from Vazhamuttom, Pathanamthitta. Working in Kuwait for past 30 years, he was a senior supervisor in a fabrication division

  7. Sajan George from Punalur, Kollam. He was a chemical engineer

  8. Lukose (48) from Kollam's Velichikala was working in Kuwait for the past 18 years

  9. Saju Varghese (56) from Konni

  10. Thomas Oommen from Tiruvalla

  11. Viswas Krishnan from Dharmadom, Kannur

  12. Nooh from Kootayi, Tirur, Malappuram

  13. M.P. Bahulayan from Malappuram

  14. Srihari Pradeep from Changanassery, Kottayam

  15. Mathew George from Niranam, Pathanamthitta

  16. Sibin T. Abraham (31) from Keezhvaipur, Pathanamthitta

  17. Binoy Thomas from Chavakkad in Thrissur

Other Indians who have been identified:

1. Thomas Joseph
2. Praveen Madhav
3. Bhoonath Richard Roy Anand
4. Anil Giri
5. Muhammad Shareef
6. Dwarikesh Patnaik
7. Viswas Krishnan
8. Arun Babu
9. Raymond
10. Jesus Lopez
11. Denny Baby Karunakaran

The Indian Embassy has established a helpline (+965-65505246) for Whatsapp or regular calls to enable family members to get in touch.

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