Kuwait Fire: IAF Plane To Bring Back Bodies Of Indians, Many Of Them Charred

New Delhi: The death toll of Indians in the Kuwait fire went up to at least 42 on Wednesday. A massive blaze engulfed a building housing foreign workers. The tragedy prompted India to dispatch a high-level team to the Gulf country to coordinate with local authorities for the repatriation of the mortal remains of the deceased.

Some residents died in their sleep and others resorted to desperate measures like jumping from the first floor to escape the blaze. A senior Kuwait journalist told CNN-News18 that the intense heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, is believed to have contributed to the tragedy, prompting regular government warnings. The Kuwaiti media said that construction firm NBTC group rented the building for the stay of more than 195 workers, most of them Indians from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and northern states. The building, owned by the Indian company NBTC, housed mostly male workers living without families. Out of the total 49 foreign workers killed, around 42 victims were confirmed to be Indian nationals, with over 50 others sustaining injuries in the tragic incident in the Al-Mangaf building.

Before departing for Kuwait from Delhi Airport, Minister of State for External Affairs Kirti Vardhan Singh said that the majority of victims suffered severe burns, with some bodies charred beyond recognition. He said DNA testing procedures are currently underway to facilitate victim identification, adding that an Air Force aircraft is on standby for immediate deployment.

The minister said once victim identities are confirmed, families will be promptly notified, and the Air Force will facilitate repatriation. “As soon as the bodies are identified, the kin will be informed and our airforce plane will bring the bodies back… The latest figures that we had last night, the casualty figures are around 48-49 out of this 42 or 43 are believed to be Indians,” MoS Singh told ANI.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday night spoke to his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya and urged him to ensure early repatriation of the mortal remains of those killed in the devastating fire.

“Spoke to Kuwaiti FM Abdullah Ali Al-Yahya on the fire tragedy in Kuwait. Apprised of the efforts made by Kuwaiti authorities in that regard. Was assured that the incident would be fully investigated and that responsibility will be fixed,” Jaishankar said on social media platform ‘X’.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the incident as “saddening” and reviewed the situation at a meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Principal Secretary to PM PK Mishra. Following the meeting, the prime minister announced ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakh to the families of the deceased Indian nationals from the PM Relief Fund and directed that the government should extend all possible assistance.

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