Kuwait building fire: 30 Indian expats among dozens killed; embassy assures assistance to injured

News Network
June 12, 2024

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At least 30 workers were among dozens killed in a massive fire that broke out in a building housing workers in the city of Mangaf in southern Kuwait early Wednesday. According to the Health Ministry, the blaze also injured nearly 50 workers.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of those killed in the fire. "The fire mishap in Kuwait City is saddening. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their near and dear ones. I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. The Indian Embassy in Kuwait is closely monitoring the situation and working with the authorities there to assist the affected," he said.

Condoling the deaths, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was "deeply shocked" and that the Indian ambassador had gone to the camp.

"Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalised. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information," he said in a post on X.

Jaishankar further expressed condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured people early and full recovery.

Meanwhile, the Indian ambassador in Kuwait Adarsh Swaika met a number of injured workers and assured them of full assistance from the Embassy, the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

The Indian embassy has also put out an emergency helpline number and has people to connect over the helpline for updates.

"In connection with the tragic fire accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance," the Indian embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

Action against owner

The building, which accommodates over 195 labourers from the nearby commercial area, housed people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North India. The building belongs to NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. Employees at NBTC's supermarket also lived in the building.

Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered a police inquiry in the matter. He has instructed the police to detain the owner of the building, its janitor, and the employer of the workers living there until the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the fire. 

He has also directed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to address similar violations, where a large number of workers are crowded into residential buildings. 

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News Network
July 15,2024

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The Karnataka Congress on Monday junked reports that the State Road Transport Corporation would be hiking bus fares. The party on X noted that transport minister has not placed any such proposals before the government.

The party's account further noted that BJP leaders should 'stop spreading lies' and rather answer about the increase in auto part prices, fuel prices, and train fares in the last ten years.

Karnataka Congress, in the post, continued that people should be allowed to answer about the burden on state governments due to the central government's price hike policy.

BJP leaders like Tejasvi Surya took potshots at the Congress government over news of the alleged fare hike, attributing it to the party's 'Khatakhat Model of Governance.'

KSRTC chairperson, S R Srinivas, however said on Sunday that the body has submitted a proposal to the government to hike the fare by 15 to 20 per cent.

"We had a board meeting two days ago. We have proposed a hike of 15 per cent to 20 per cent. The rest is up to the discretion of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. If KSRTC is to survive, fare hike is inevitable," he said.

The chairperson also noted that fuel and auto parts have seen prices go up substantially, but there has been no increase in bus fares since 2019.

"The salary revision of the KSRTC employees has not been done since 2020. Hence, increasing the ticket price is necessary," Srinivas added.

As per the chairperson, the corporation has suffered a loss of Rs 295 crore in the last three months.

To a question on whether the hike would burden male passengers since women are allowed to travel free of cost under the 'Shakti' scheme, Srinivas said there is no question of putting burden only on men. He noted that the state government continues to bear the expenses for women travelling in buses.

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News Network
July 6,2024

Mangaluru: Amid a spike in dengue cases in Karnataka, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao launched an awareness campaign in this district headquarters town of Dakshina Kannada to eliminate breeding sites of Aedes mosquito that causes the vector borne disease.

He conducted a house-to-house inspection in parts of the city along with health workers and checked breeding areas of Aedes mosquitoes.

Rao, who is also district in-charge Minister, inspected places where Aedes mosquito larvae were produced in water stagnated in coconut shells, tubs and tyres and observed the measures being taken by Health Department staff to destroy them.

He advised the local residents to be vigilant.

Speaking to reporters later, the Minister said the Department has launched a campaign to destroy breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes every Friday for dengue control and urged the public to extend their cooperation.

Health workers are engaged in creating awareness among people. People need to ensure that water does not stagnate in places around their houses. Aedes mosquito breeding sites are being identified and destroyed, he said.

"It has been suggested to identify hot spots where dengue fever is more common and open fever clinics. It is advised to conduct dengue testing on people with fever, who come from those regions where dengue is prevalent and provide treatment. This can prevent deaths," Rao said.

The Minister also said his Department along with the Rural Development Department, district administration, local Corporation officials and teachers have been engaged in efforts to control dengue.

According to the data shared by the Health Department, total positive dengue cases reported in the State since January till July 4 was 6,676 and out of these, total active cases were 695. Dengue has claimed six lives in the state in the current calendar year.

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News Network
July 16,2024

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The Gaza Civil Defense says it has lost dozens of its employees ever since the Israeli military launched its relentless aerial and ground offensives across the besieged coastal terror in early October last year.

In a fresh statement, the organization put the number of fallen aid workers at 79, noting that the figure comes after one of its members succumbed to severe injuries sustained during the Israeli strike on a designated humanitarian safe zone at the al-Mawasi camp in southern Gaza, killing at least 90 Palestinians and wounding 300 others.

The fatality brings to three the number of aid workers killed in the attack, which was the deadliest in Gaza for weeks, according to the Gaza Civil Defense.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Concomitantly with the war, the regime has been enforcing a near-total siege on the coastal territory, which has reduced the flow of foodstuffs, medicine, electricity, and water into the Palestinian territory into a trickle.

So far during the military onslaught, the regime has killed at least 38,664 Gazans, most of them women, children, and adolescents. Another 89,097 Palestinians have sustained injuries as well.

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