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Kerala: CM Vijayan and People Pay Homage to Kuwait Fire Victims at Kochi Airport

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Jun 14, 2024, 8:03 AM IST

Updated : Jun 14, 2024, 10:38 PM IST

Authorities have made elaborate arrangement for receiving the bodies. Police force and ambulances deployed at the Cochin International Airport where the special IAF aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 45 Indian victims in the fire incident in Kuwait will reach shortly

Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building in Kuwait.
Smoke billows after a fire broke out in a building in Kuwait. ((PTI Photo))

Kochi: A special Indian Air Force aircraft carrying mortal remains of 45 Indian victims who lost their lives in a tragic fire incident in Kuwait landed in Kochi from Kuwait City, officials said on Friday. Soon after arrival, mortal remains of the victims of the fire incident in Kuwait were loaded into dedicated ambulances to be taken to their native places from the Cochin International Airport.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pays his last respects to the workers who were killed in the fire in Kuwait (ETV Bharat)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan paid floral tributes to the bodies of the victims of the fire tragedy in Kuwait, who arrived at the Cochin International Airport. Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh, State Ministers Veena George, P Rajeev, K Rajan, and Roshi Augustin, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan, and Union Minister Suresh Gopi also paid tributes to the victims.

The bodies of the victims were kept on tables arranged outside the airport cargo terminal. Congress MP Hibi Eden, Congress leader Chandy Oomen, BJP state president K Surendran and former Union Minister V Muraleedharan, among others, also offered tributes to the victims. Earlier, speaking to reporters at the airport, the Chief Minister acknowledged the efforts on the part of the Government of India and that of Kuwait in their intervention following the fire tragedy.

"It is a never-ending loss for the families... The Government of Kuwait has taken effective and impeccable measures. It is expected that the follow-up will be flawless. When it came to know about the disaster, the Government of India also intervened in a proper manner in the case of those who died in the Kuwait disaster."

Earlier, the Indian embassy wrote on X, "A special IAF aircraft carrying mortal remains of 45 Indian victims in the fire incident in Kuwait has taken off for Kochi," the Indian embassy wrote on X. "MoS @KVSinghMPGonda, who coordinated with Kuwaiti authorities ensuring swift repatriation, is onboard the aircraft," it added.

As many as twenty-three residents of Kerala were among 45 Indians who died in the fire incident here on Wednesday. The incident has sent shockwaves through communities both in Kuwait and India.

Authorities have made elaborate arrangement for receiving the bodies. Police force and ambulances deployed at the Cochin International Airport where the special IAF aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 45 Indian victims in the fire incident in Kuwait will reach shortly

Ernakulam Range DIG Putta Vimaladitya said, "We have made all the required arrangements for receiving the bodies...We have coordinated with the family members of the victims...Once the bodies are received, they will be properly escorted to their respective places...23 bodies belong to Kerala, 7 belong to Tamil Nadu and 1 belong to Karnataka...A dedicated vehicle will be provided for each body..."

The detailed breakdown of the victims reveals the extent of the devastation. According to the list, there are seven victims from Tamil Nadu, three from Andhra Pradesh, one each from Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, and West Bengal, in addition to the 23 from Kerala.

Kuwaiti authorities are working tirelessly to investigate the cause of the fire and provide support to the affected families. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deepest condolences and assured all possible assistance to those impacted by the tragedy.

Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Kirti Vardhan Singh on June 13, visited hospitals in Kuwait, where he interacted with Indian nationals undergoing treatment following the tragic fire incident in Mangaf. His visits underscored India's commitment to ensuring the well-being of its citizens abroad and highlighted the importance of international cooperation during times of crisis.

Several members of grieving families of Kuwait tragedy victims kept crying inconsolably as some others stood standstill as the terminal Kochi airport on Friday as the bodies of dozens of migrant workers killed in a Kuwait building fire were brought home in coffins.

Sombre scene at the airport

Kochi airport has never witnessed such sombre scenes as were seen on Friday when bodies of those who died in a fire in Kuwait, arrived.

“On Friday, everyone at the airport was grieving and all had tears flowing. It's never happened before, so many dead bodies arriving at the same time. It is unbearable,” said an airport official.

A top Airport Authority of India official said, "Since these bodies are treated as 'cargo', early morning we held a meeting of all stakeholders from the various departments. We decided to clear the bodies in about 15 to 20 minutes. Customs, emigration and health clearances will be done quickly for all 45 bodies, and of these 31 will be handed over here. A special area was designated where the 31 bodies were kept for all to pay their homage. Ambulances are there to take each one to respective homes,” said the top AAI official.

The special IAF aircraft with the remaining bodies will depart for Delhi.As the plane arrived, the airport was filled with wailing. Parents, children, spouses and other relatives were full of emotions.

A father who worked in the same company in Kuwait was unable to control himself as he said after he retired, he sent his son to the same company.“My son came last here in January after his mother-in-law passed away and now I have come to ‘receive’ him,” he said while breaking down.

Stephin Abraham, 29, who hailed from Pampady in Kottayam was an engineer and worked in Kuwait for the past six years.“His new house is almost complete. He was here a few months back to finalise the furnishings of his home. We are unable to handle this tragedy of Stephin. This is life,” said his relative who was wailing.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who arrived at the airport here when the flight landed waited before the enclosure to receive the 31 dead bodies.

Also present were newly ordained Union Minister Suresh Gopi, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, state cabinet ministers, priests and hundreds of ordinary people.It was a never-before-seen Black Friday on June 14 at the airport.

Kochi: A special Indian Air Force aircraft carrying mortal remains of 45 Indian victims who lost their lives in a tragic fire incident in Kuwait landed in Kochi from Kuwait City, officials said on Friday. Soon after arrival, mortal remains of the victims of the fire incident in Kuwait were loaded into dedicated ambulances to be taken to their native places from the Cochin International Airport.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pays his last respects to the workers who were killed in the fire in Kuwait (ETV Bharat)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan paid floral tributes to the bodies of the victims of the fire tragedy in Kuwait, who arrived at the Cochin International Airport. Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh, State Ministers Veena George, P Rajeev, K Rajan, and Roshi Augustin, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan, and Union Minister Suresh Gopi also paid tributes to the victims.

The bodies of the victims were kept on tables arranged outside the airport cargo terminal. Congress MP Hibi Eden, Congress leader Chandy Oomen, BJP state president K Surendran and former Union Minister V Muraleedharan, among others, also offered tributes to the victims. Earlier, speaking to reporters at the airport, the Chief Minister acknowledged the efforts on the part of the Government of India and that of Kuwait in their intervention following the fire tragedy.

"It is a never-ending loss for the families... The Government of Kuwait has taken effective and impeccable measures. It is expected that the follow-up will be flawless. When it came to know about the disaster, the Government of India also intervened in a proper manner in the case of those who died in the Kuwait disaster."

Earlier, the Indian embassy wrote on X, "A special IAF aircraft carrying mortal remains of 45 Indian victims in the fire incident in Kuwait has taken off for Kochi," the Indian embassy wrote on X. "MoS @KVSinghMPGonda, who coordinated with Kuwaiti authorities ensuring swift repatriation, is onboard the aircraft," it added.

As many as twenty-three residents of Kerala were among 45 Indians who died in the fire incident here on Wednesday. The incident has sent shockwaves through communities both in Kuwait and India.

Authorities have made elaborate arrangement for receiving the bodies. Police force and ambulances deployed at the Cochin International Airport where the special IAF aircraft carrying the mortal remains of 45 Indian victims in the fire incident in Kuwait will reach shortly

Ernakulam Range DIG Putta Vimaladitya said, "We have made all the required arrangements for receiving the bodies...We have coordinated with the family members of the victims...Once the bodies are received, they will be properly escorted to their respective places...23 bodies belong to Kerala, 7 belong to Tamil Nadu and 1 belong to Karnataka...A dedicated vehicle will be provided for each body..."

The detailed breakdown of the victims reveals the extent of the devastation. According to the list, there are seven victims from Tamil Nadu, three from Andhra Pradesh, one each from Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab, and West Bengal, in addition to the 23 from Kerala.

Kuwaiti authorities are working tirelessly to investigate the cause of the fire and provide support to the affected families. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deepest condolences and assured all possible assistance to those impacted by the tragedy.

Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Kirti Vardhan Singh on June 13, visited hospitals in Kuwait, where he interacted with Indian nationals undergoing treatment following the tragic fire incident in Mangaf. His visits underscored India's commitment to ensuring the well-being of its citizens abroad and highlighted the importance of international cooperation during times of crisis.

Several members of grieving families of Kuwait tragedy victims kept crying inconsolably as some others stood standstill as the terminal Kochi airport on Friday as the bodies of dozens of migrant workers killed in a Kuwait building fire were brought home in coffins.

Sombre scene at the airport

Kochi airport has never witnessed such sombre scenes as were seen on Friday when bodies of those who died in a fire in Kuwait, arrived.

“On Friday, everyone at the airport was grieving and all had tears flowing. It's never happened before, so many dead bodies arriving at the same time. It is unbearable,” said an airport official.

A top Airport Authority of India official said, "Since these bodies are treated as 'cargo', early morning we held a meeting of all stakeholders from the various departments. We decided to clear the bodies in about 15 to 20 minutes. Customs, emigration and health clearances will be done quickly for all 45 bodies, and of these 31 will be handed over here. A special area was designated where the 31 bodies were kept for all to pay their homage. Ambulances are there to take each one to respective homes,” said the top AAI official.

The special IAF aircraft with the remaining bodies will depart for Delhi.As the plane arrived, the airport was filled with wailing. Parents, children, spouses and other relatives were full of emotions.

A father who worked in the same company in Kuwait was unable to control himself as he said after he retired, he sent his son to the same company.“My son came last here in January after his mother-in-law passed away and now I have come to ‘receive’ him,” he said while breaking down.

Stephin Abraham, 29, who hailed from Pampady in Kottayam was an engineer and worked in Kuwait for the past six years.“His new house is almost complete. He was here a few months back to finalise the furnishings of his home. We are unable to handle this tragedy of Stephin. This is life,” said his relative who was wailing.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who arrived at the airport here when the flight landed waited before the enclosure to receive the 31 dead bodies.

Also present were newly ordained Union Minister Suresh Gopi, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, state cabinet ministers, priests and hundreds of ordinary people.It was a never-before-seen Black Friday on June 14 at the airport.

Last Updated : Jun 14, 2024, 10:38 PM IST
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