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Kuwait fire tragedy: Father identifies son’s body through tattoo on hand

Pradeep, father of 27-year-old Srihari who lived in the building that caught fire in Kuwait on Wednesday which resulted in 49 deaths, was able to identify the mortal remains of his son only from the tattoo on his hand.

Pradeep said he was called by the authorities to identify his son’s body kept in a hospital mortuary.

“When I went there, I saw that the face was completely swollen and the nose was covered with soot. I was unable to identify him. I just could not.

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“Then I told them that he had a tattoo on his hand. Based on that he was identified,” Pradeep, sobbing, told a Malayalam news channel in Kuwait on Thursday.

Srihari had just returned to Kuwait from Kerala last week on June 5. Both father and son worked for the same company. Pradeep has been working in Kuwait for the last eight years.

Earlier in the day, a friend of the family told reporters that barely a week after Srihari left for Kuwait, news of his death reached his village here.

“Barely a week later, news of his death reached here. We learned about it yesterday afternoon. His father informed the family as there were news reports on TV about the tragedy,” the family friend said.

He said that Srihari was working in a supermarket in Kuwait until he could find a job related to his field of study, mechanical engineering.

“His father is trying to return to Kerala by today, and efforts are being made to bring back his body by tomorrow,” he added.

Neither the Centre and state governments nor the Indian Embassy in Kuwait have officially confirmed the identities of the Indians who perished in the fire.

According to the Kuwaiti authorities, the fire broke out in a building in the southern city of Mangaf, in which 49 foreign workers, including around 40 Indians, were killed, and 50 others injured.

The fire started in the kitchen of the seven-storey building housing 195 migrant workers in Mangaf in the Ahmadi Governorate early on Wednesday.

The fire erupted just after 4 am when the majority of the 196 all-male residents of the building were asleep. It resulted in huge, thick clouds of black smoke that led to most of the victims suffocating to death, according to officials from the Kuwait Interior Ministry and the Fire Department.

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