Kuwait fire: NBTC MD says company will take care of victims’ families

PTI, Jun 15, 2024, 7:49 PM IST

MD of Kuwait-based NBTC Group K G Abraham

Kochi: K G Abraham, MD of Kuwait-based NBTC Group, whose workers died in the fire accident in one of its accommodations in the Gulf nation, on Saturday said the incident was unfortunate, and the company will take care of the victims’ families.

Addressing the media here after three days of the tragic fire that killed 49 people, Abraham became emotional and said “we are so sorry”.

“We are so sorry. We are so sorry. I was crying in my house. I know most of them. There were people working with us for more than 27 years. What happened was really unfortunate,” he said.

Abraham said that his company directors and managers are currently visiting each and every family member of the deceased and are expressing their grief.

“This was not any mistake on our part, but still we will take responsibility. They were living and working with us. They built the company. They are our family,” Abraham said.

He said discussions were going on with the Embassies for the process of disbursing the compensation.

“We will soon disperse Rs eight lakh as compensation and they will also receive the company insurance amount. We are concerned about the families and will support them and provide jobs,” he added.

Abraham also dismissed the allegations that the building was overcrowded.

He said the leased building had 24 apartments with three bedrooms each and there were only around 160 employees housed there.

“As per the reports there, the incident happened due to a short-circuit in the security guard’s room on the ground floor. There was no gas explosion as some claimed. There was no cooking in the building,” he said.

Abraham said the building was not that old and the accommodation and food for its employees were free.

He said as the deaths occurred due to an accident, the victims’ families would receive an insurance amount worth four years’ salary.

NBTC had earlier in a statement said it was greatly “shocked and saddened by the tragic incident” in one of its residential accommodations at Mangaf in Kuwait.

The building in Kuwait that caught fire killed 49 people on June 12. Currently, 40 people are under treatment.

Abraham, a prominent businessman from Niranam in Pathanamthitta district is a partner and managing director of the NBTC group.

According to the Central Travancore Chamber of Commerce and Industry website, NBTC is the biggest construction group in Kuwait.

It also said that Abraham is the chairman of Crowne Plaza, Kochi which is a five-star category hotel.

He is the founder and chairman of KGA Group which owns the prominent five-star property in Kochi among other establishments.

Abraham is also into movie production and recently co-produced a Malayalam survival drama ‘Adujeevitham’ (Goat Life) which narrates the life of an Indian migrant worker in a Gulf nation.

Established in 1977, NBTC is into engineering and construction, fabrication and machining, technical services, heavy equipment leasing, logistics, hotel, and retailing.

Apart from the company’s assistance, the Kerala government had announced an amount of Rs five lakh each to the families of the deceased persons from the state.

The Central government has also announced financial assistance of Rs two lakh to the families of the deceased.

Prominent business houses have also announced financial aid to bereaved families.

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