Nation Mourns as IAF Brings Home Victims of Kuwait Tragedy; Relief Funds Announced

IAF Brings Home Victims of Kuwait Tragedy

New Delhi: In a solemn act of repatriation, the Indian Air Force has transported the remains of 45 Indian nationals who perished in a catastrophic fire in Kuwait. The Indian Embassy confirmed that accompanying the remains on the special flight was the Minister of State for External Affairs, Kirti Vardhan Singh. Upon his arrival in Kuwait on Friday, Minister Singh promptly engaged with local authorities to facilitate the dignified return of the victims.

The Kuwaiti officials have disclosed that alongside the Indian victims, three Filipino nationals were also identified among the deceased. The fire claimed the lives of 49 migrant workers in total, leaving an additional 50 individuals injured. Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Minority Welfare and Non-Resident Tamil Welfare, Gingi KS Mastan, revealed that the disaster had a personal toll, with five individuals from the state among those lost.

The Indian Air Force’s C-130J transport aircraft is scheduled to first touch down in Kochi, where the majority of the workers hailed from. Prior to their repatriation, the Kuwaiti authorities had completed DNA verification of the victims. The origin of the blaze has been attributed to an electrical short circuit.

During his mission in Kuwait, Minister Singh held pivotal discussions with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya, Al-Sabah, and Health Minister Ahmed Abdelwahab Ahmed Al-Awadi. His visit also included stops at Mubarak Al Kabir Hospital and Jaber Hospital, where numerous injured Indians are receiving care. In the wake of the incident, a Kuwaiti citizen and several foreign nationals have been detained, suspected of negligence in safety and rescue operations.

IAF Brings Home Victims of Kuwait Tragedy

In a gesture of solidarity and support, MA Yusuf Ali, Chairman of the UAE-based Lulu Group, has pledged a donation of Rs 5 lakh to each bereaved family. Additionally, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh from the PM Relief Fund. The State Relief Commissioner’s Office has provided further details, noting that the victims included residents from Tamil Nadu, Varanasi, and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.