Kuwait fire: Death toll of Keralites climbs to 24

Kerala government announces ex gratia payment of ₹5 lakh for families of deceased and ₹1 lakh for next of kin of those who suffered burn and fall injuries in the blaze 

Updated - June 13, 2024 09:02 pm IST

Published - June 13, 2024 12:09 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram 

 MLA N.A. Nellikkunu consoles the family members of A.R. Ranjith who died in a devastating fire that swept through a labour camp building in Kuwait on June 12.

MLA N.A. Nellikkunu consoles the family members of A.R. Ranjith who died in a devastating fire that swept through a labour camp building in Kuwait on June 12.

The Government 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 24.  

The government also announced 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. 

Kuwait fire LIVE updates: 19 Keralites died in Kuwait fire tragedy, says Kerala government

The State Cabinet which met here announced that two prominent businesspersons from Kerala, M.A. Yusuff Ali and Ravi Pillai, had 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 Department of Non-Resident Keralite’s Affairs (NoRKA). 

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. 

Kuwait fire | Video Credit: The Hindu

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).

Among those who died in the tragic incident were five persons from Pathanamthitta district, three from Kollam, two each from Kottayam, Malappuram and Kasaragod and one from Kannur.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said arrangements had been made at the Kochi aiport to transport the mortal remains of the victims of the fire accident to their home towns without delay.

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