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Kuwait fire shatters scores of families in Kerala

The death toll was feared to go up as many others, including Malayalis, are under treatment in Kuwait and the condition of some were reported to be critical.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 15:11 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: Noohu, 42, a native of Malappuram leaves behind wife and three young daughters, while Kollam native Lukose, 48, was planning to come down home by next month for his daughter's admission to a nursing college.

The fire mishap at Kuwait has shattered many families like that of Noohu and George as they lost not just their dear ones and hopes, but also the lone bread winner of their families.

So far, 23 victims of the Wednesday wee hour fire mishap have been identified as Malayalis from across the state. The death toll was feared to go up as many others, including Malayalis, are under treatment in Kuwait and the condition of some were reported to be critical. Some bodies charred in the fire were also yet to be identified.

A special meeting of the state cabinet convened by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday decided to depute health minister Veena George to Kuwait to coordinate arrangements for bringing the bodies as well as to extend assistance. While the state government announced financial assistance of Rs five lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs one lakh each to the injured, NRI businessmen from Kerala M A Yusuff Ali and Ravi Pillai offered assistance of Rs 5 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

At least six persons hailing from Pathanamthitta, the home district of Malayali businessman K G Abraham, partner of NBTC group which owns the building that caught fire, were among the deceased.

M G Ravi, president of Niranam panchayat in Pathanamthitta, told DH that many people from the region are employed in different firms of Abraham abroad. Among the deceased, three were learnt to have their roots in Niranam and they were believed to have got jobs through Abraham.

Sajan George, 29, hailing from Punalur in Kollam, was among the deceased who got a job through Abraham. "My son was working as assistant professor at a private college here. Through our family's contacts with Abraham he got a job in Kuwait. He reluctantly took it up owing to family pressure. But now we regret over it," his father George told reporters.

Many, like Malappuram native Noohu, had even rang up their families hours before the mishap. Noohu's relative told reporters that even as he wished to settle down in Kerala with family, the liabilities over constructing a small house had forced him to return to Kuwait after his hometown visit a few months back.

Twenty-seven year old Sreehari from Changanassery in Kottayam had secured job in Kuwait hardly a week ago through his father Pradeep, who is also working in Kuwait. Pradeep told a TV channel that he was ill-fated to identify his son's body from a tattoo mark.

The other Malayalis so far identified include Bahuleyan, 36, of Perinthalmanna in Malappuram; Shameer Umarudeen, 30, from Kollam; K Renjith, 34, from Chengala in Kasargod; Kelu, 58, of Pilikodu in Kasargod; Stephin Abraham Sabu, 29, from Kottayam; Akash Sasidharan, 31, of Pandalam in Pathanamthitta; Saju Varghese, 56, of Konni in Pathanamthitta; P V Muraleedharan, 68, of Pathanamthitta; Thomas Umman, 37, of Thiruvalla and Thomas Mathew Mathew of Pathanamthitta.

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Published 13 June 2024, 15:11 IST

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