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QUESTION NO.2920 INDIANS KILLED IN SUDAN

March 19, 2020

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2920
TO BE ANSWERED ON 19.03.2020

INDIANS KILLED IN SUDAN

2920. SHRI R. VAITHILINGAM:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether it is a fact that many Indians were killed in a tanker blast in Sudan very recently.

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) what were the steps taken by Government to help the families of these victims;

(d) whether Government has taken up the matter with the Sudanese Government for compensation to the families of the victims; and

(e) if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) & (b) Yes, 20 Indians were among a total of 25 workers killed in an LPG tanker blast at the Seela Ceramics Factory in Khartoum on 3 December 2019. The bodies of 17 Indian workers were identifiable while 3 were charred beyond recognition.

(c) Embassy of India, Khartoum acted immediately after receiving news about the tragic accident and held meetings with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Trade & Industries. Our Ambassador also met H.E. Dr. Abdallah Hamdok, Prime Minister of Sudan to request assistance with expeditious identification and repatriation of the mortal remains of the Indian nationals to their families in India. The Embassy also sought the assistance of Indian community members for identification of the mortal remains of the deceased.

The 17 identified bodies were transported from Khartoum to the hometowns of the victims or where the families so requested, in India. Out of the remaining three cases, the DNA matching of one is complete and the mortal remains are being sent to the family. For the other two, the DNA matching process is ongoing.

Five workers who had sustained minor injuries were flown back and their salary dues were cleared. Another 33 Indians working in the factory, who were unhurt, were also repatriated and their salary dues were cleared.

Ex gratia amounts of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of 16 of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to four of the injured have been paid from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The bank account details of next of kin of one deceased and of one injured worker are awaited.

(d) & (e) Yes. Embassy of India, Khartoum has taken up the matter with the Sudanese Government. The Sudanese Government has instituted an Inquiry Commission to investigate the cause of accident, fix responsibility and determine compensation as per local laws.

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