MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar at a press briefing in New Delhi on Friday.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar at a press briefing in New Delhi on Friday.

6 Indians killed in Sudan tanker blast, efforts on to bring back bodies: MEA

ANI | Updated: Dec 06, 2019 18:33 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 6 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that six Indian nationals were killed in the tragic LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan and underlined that efforts are on to repatriate the mortal remains of the deceased back to the country.
"It was an unfortunate incident. 58 Indian workers were working at the factory in Sudan. Six Indian workers were killed in the incident. Eight Indians are in hospital and 11 people are unidentified or missing. 33 Indians are safe," the ministry's spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters here.
He said that the families of the deceased have been informed and said that more updates regarding the incident will be shared in due course of time.
"We have informed the families of the deceased. Our Indian embassy is cooperating with the local government. Our ambassador is visiting the hospital. Efforts are on to bring back the mortal remains of the six Indians back to India as soon as possible," Kumar said.
Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Sudan had said that 18 Indians were among the 23 people killed in the LPG blast at the factory in the Sudanese capital Khartoum although the numbers were not officially confirmed. The incident also wounded 130 others.
The explosion occurred while a gas tanker was unloading its cargo at the factory, as per a statement by Sudan's Council of Ministers, as cited by Xinhua news agency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish over the tragedy while External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the Indian embassy in Sudan has set up a 24-hour emergency hotline.
Responding to reports of 18 Indians, onboard a Hong Kong-flagged vessel, who were kidnapped by pirates near the western coast of Nigeria, Kumar said that the ministry is working closely with Nigerian authorities in this regard.
"On December 3, 18 Indian national crew members were abducted from the ship 'Nave Constellation' at high seas near Nigeria. We are working closely with the Nigerian authorities," the MEA spokesperson said.
The pirates managed to board the vessel and kidnap 19 crew members before escaping. The 19 seafarers comprised 18 Indian nationals and one Turkish national.
The vessel is now said to be safe and under the escort of the Nigerian Navy. The whereabouts and details of crew members are yet to be ascertained. (ANI)