Three Nepalis killed in fire in Kuwait

Kathmandu, July 14

Three Nepali nationals, one male and two females, were charred to death in Kuwait when a raging blaze swept through an apartment building in Mahabullah area on Friday night.

Second Secretary at the Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait Gyan Bahadur Magar identified the victims as Bijaya Baitha of Sarlahi district, Apsara Kami and Gauri Dorjee.

One person is undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of the hospital but the embassy does not know if he is a Nepali national or a foreigner.

Magar said the embassy got passport numbers of Apsara Kami and Gauri Dorjee late this evening and it would be in a position to ascertain their addresses in Nepal tomorrow.

Gauri Dorjee had entered Kuwait on work permit visa on 29 December 2014.

The embassy does not have passport details of Apsara Kami and Gauri Dorjee.

Their sponsors had lodged a complaint against them with the police, saying they had run away. “Sponsors keep passports of absconding workers in Kuwait,” Magar said.

He said the embassy was trying to expedite the process of sending bodies of victims to Nepal. Repatriating a body will cost around 350 Kuwaiti dinar, he added.

Magar said the embassy was trying to coordinate with the local government and employers of the victims. “We are trying to get salaries and other payments that the victims’ family are entitled to but that would be difficult in the case of Apsara Kami and Gauri Dorjee,” Magar said.

According to Magar, the embassy was trying to coordinate with Baitha’s employer to get all the payments, including insurance money and the cost for repatriating his body to Nepal. In the case of Gauri Dorjee, the embassy expects assistance from Foreign Employment Board as she had gone to the Gulf country with labour permit when females were allowed to go to Gulf countries.

According to Magar, Apsara’s family may have to shoulder the financial burden of repatriating her body. “Victims’ families could get some compensation from the government and we are going to advise them to take the case with the government,” Magar added.

Labour Attaché at Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait Gyanendra Sharma said Baitha was working as a cleaner at a company and the other victims were working as housemaids.

Kuwaiti authorities are yet to ascertain the cause of fire in the apartment but initial reports suggested that the fire was caused by gas leakage in the apartment.