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Mumbai Galaxy Hotel fire: Soon-to-wed NRI couple killed, had stayed back after flight was rescheduled

The Kenya-based couple died in a fire that broke out at Mumbai's Hotel Galaxy on Sunday afternoon.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Published on: August 28, 2023 23:42 IST
A fire broke out at Mumbai's Hotel Galaxy on August 27
Image Source : ANI A fire broke out at Mumbai's Hotel Galaxy on August 27

Mumbai Galaxy Hotel fire: A soon-to-be-married NRI couple were among the three persons who died in a fire that broke out at Mumbai's Hotel Galaxy on Sunday afternoon. Kishan Halai and his 25-year-old fianceé Rupal Vekaria were supposed to get married in Nairobi after flying out of the Maharashtra capital but destiny wished otherwise.

The couple along with Rupal's mother and sister, were staying at the hotel in the Santacruz area of Mumbai. Their accommodation was arranged by the airline after their flight was rescheduled.

Couple were settled in Nairobi for several years

According to Suresh Kara, sarpanch of Rampar village in Mandvi taluka of Gujarat's Kutch district, Kishan Halai and his fiancée Rupal Vekaria were settled in Nairobi for several years.  The families of Kishan Halai and the Vekarias hail from Rampar village.

The fire broke out on the third and fourth floors of the Galaxy Hotel on Sunday, killing Kishan Halai (28), Rupal Vekaria (25), and another person Kantilal Vara (50). Rupal's mother Manjulaben (49), sister Alpa (19), and one Aslam Sheikh (48) were injured in the incident.

Also Read: 3 dead, 2 injured as fire breaks out at Mumbai's Hotel Galaxy | VIDEO

They were in Mumbai to board a flight for Nairobi

According to Kara, the families of Kishan and Rupal remained connected to their roots despite settling abroad many years ago. Their ancestral houses are still there in Rampar village. "Kishan and Rupal were engaged and were planning to get married soon after reaching Nairobi, where they were residing for many years with their parents and siblings. Kishan, Rupal and their families came to India nearly a month back to attend the wedding of Kishan's younger brother in the village. The newly-married couple along with Kishan's parents had left for Kenya a week back," said Kara.

He further said Kishan was born and raised in the village until his teenage years when he moved to Nairobi with his parents. Rupal, on the other hand, was born in Nairobi. The couple had returned to India nearly a month ago to attend Kishan's younger brother's wedding in their native village.

He said Kishan's grandparents still live in Rampar village. "While Kishan was born and brought up in the village till he became a teenager, Rupal was born in Nairobi. Kishan moved to Nairobi with his parents when he was around 13," Kara added.

After finishing shopping and meeting relatives in Gujarat, Kishan, Rupal, her parents, and sister planned to leave India on Saturday, said the sarpanch. "They all reached Mumbai from Ahmedabad on Saturday to board a flight for Nairobi. As the flight was rescheduled, the airline accommodated them in a nearby hotel in Santacruz where the fire erupted on Sunday," said Kara.

He said the Vekaria family would decide on the location for performing the last rites.

(With PTI inputs)

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