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Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan pays homage to victims of Kuwait fire tragedy

Ernakulam (Kerala): 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 on Friday.

At least 45 Indians were killed in the fire incident, and 31 bodies of victims from Kerala (23), Tamil Nadu (7), and Karnataka (1) were brought via a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force to Kerala's Kochi on Friday.

The special IAF aircraft landed at around 10.30 am at Cochin International Airport on Friday.

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."

It is expected that the Kuwaiti government will provide adequate compensation to the families of the deceased. The central government should also intervene effectively, he said.

Kerala Minister P Rajeev said that special ambulances have been arranged for each deceased and a police pilot has also been provided.

Union Minister Suresh Gopi referred to the tragedy as "voluminous and impactful" and said that it is a thud on the 'pravaasi' (Overseas Indians) community, which helped the economic situation in Kerala.

"The state and the country have very high regard for the 'pravaasi' community and it is very painful. India will play its role very well because we initiated action as soon as the news was received. The GoI will take appropriate actions and decisions," the Union Minister told reporters on Friday.

"We have our contingent working to look after people in all health conditions. They will be brought back to India and their rehabilitation will also be taken care of. It's no graciousness, it is the duty of the GoI and the state government also," he added.

At least 45 Indians died in the huge fire that broke out in a labour accommodation in Kuwait's Mangaf on June 12. This includes 23 from Kerala, seven from Tamil Nadu, three from Andhra Pradesh, and one each from Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Punjab and West Bengal. 

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