Kuwait fire: Mortal remains of 31 Indians received at Kochi airport

Central and state ministers, including Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, pay tributes to the deceased

Mortal remains of the Indians arrive in Kochi on 14 June (photo: PTI)
Mortal remains of the Indians arrive in Kochi on 14 June (photo: PTI)


The mortal remains of 31 Indians, including 23 Malayalis, who died in the Kuwait fire tragedy were received at the international airport in Kochi on Friday, 14 June, by central and state ministers, including Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who paid tributes to the deceased.

An Indian Air Force (IAF) flight carrying the mortal remains of 45 Indians who died in the tragic fire incident in Kuwait two days ago, landed at the international airport here at around 10.30 am.

Of the 45 mortal remains carried by the IAF C30J aircraft, 31 were received at the airport in Kochi.

The 31 bodies include 23 Keralites, 7 Tamilians and one person from Karnataka, officials said.

Vijayan, speaking to reporters at the airport, said that 'pravasis' (expatriates) were the lifeline of Kerala and the deaths of so many Indian expatriates in the fire was a "huge disaster for the country".

CM Pinarayi Vijayan with other political leaders in Kochi
CM Pinarayi Vijayan with other political leaders in Kochi

The CM also said that the incident was also a huge disaster for the expatriate community.

"It is an unending loss for the families of the deceased. The Kuwaiti government has taken strong and effective action following the incident and the Indian government intervened in a good way.

"Measures need to be taken to prevent a recurrence of such an incident and it is hoped that the Kuwaiti government will take the requisite action for the same," the CM said.

He also expressed hope that the Kuwaiti government would take the initiative to provide sufficient compensation to the families of the victims.

"For this, the Indian government should get in touch with the government in Kuwait to expedite the process as those who died there had gone there to earn a livelihood. Any amount of help to the bereaved families may not be enough," he said.

Minister of state for tourism and petroleum Suresh Gopi, who was at the airport to receive the mortal remains, said that 'pravasis' are held in high regard by the state and Centre for the hard work they put in while working abroad.

"The tragedy is very painful," he said.

The CM paid tribute to the deceased by placing wreaths on their coffins, while Gopi laid red roses to pay his last respects.

Union MoS for external affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh, who accompanied the mortal remains on the IAF flight, and Tamil Nadu minister for minorities welfare and non-resident Tamils welfare Gingee K S Masthan also paid tributes to the deceased at the Cochin airport.

A guard of honour was given by the police to the deceased.

The customs, immigration and airport health office-related processes for the 45 bodies were done at CIAL itself, the airport authorities said.

After the 31 bodies were received at the airport, the remaining 14 were sent to Delhi in the same aircraft as a domestic flight, CIAL said.

Punjab man who died was sole breadwinner of his family

Hoshiarpur native Himat Rai, who was among those killed in a devastating fire in southern Kuwait's Mangaf, was the sole breadwinner of his family.

His family lives in Kakkon, a suburb of Hoshiarpur city, and ever since they received the news about the tragedy they are in a state of shock.

According to official sources, Himat Rai (62), who originally hails from Salempur village in Hoshiarpur district, was among the victims who lost their lives in the tragic fire in the Middle Eastern country on Wednesday.

Rai is survived by his wife, two married daughters, and a minor son.

People from all walks of life thronged the residence of Himat Rai since Thursday evening to offer their condolences to the bereaved family.

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