Probe Underway, Says Maldives Foreign Minister After Male Fire Which Killed 8 Indians

Probe Underway, Says Maldives Foreign Minister After Male Fire Which Killed 8 Indians

New Delhi: Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on Thursday expressed grief over the fire incident in the capital city of Male which caused the loss of ten lives including eight Indian nationals.

“Deeply saddened by the news of a tragic fire in Male’, that has taken the lives of 10 expatriate workers and affected several families. Our thoughts and prayers are with families of the deceased and affected.  A full investigation is underway,” he wrote on Twitter.

Deeply saddened by the news of a tragic fire in Male’, that has taken the lives of 10 expatriate workers and affected several families. Our thoughts and prayers are with families of the deceased and affected. A full investigation is underway.

— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) November 10, 2022

A fire swept through cramped lodgings of foreign workers in the Maldives capital Male leading to 10 deaths while injuring several others.

Eight Indians were among the 10 people confirmed dead early on Thursday when a fire broke out in the garage below the cramped living quarters housing foreign workers in the Maldivian capital, news agency PTI reported citing an Indian High Commission official.

“Ten people were confirmed dead, of which eight were Indian nationals. We are yet to ascertain the nationalities of the two other victims,” Ramdhir Singh, Welfare Officer, working in the Indian High Commission here told PTI.

The fire is said to have originated from a ground-floor vehicle repair garage.

“We have found 10 bodies,” a fire service official said, adding that it took them about four hours to put out the fire, as per news agency AFP.

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According to news portal SunOnline international, the fire broke out in M. Nirufehi area near the Maaveyo Mosque around 12:30 am, 

The garage is located on the ground floor, while the first floor houses migrant workers.

The quarters had only ventilation – a single window, the report mentioned.

The Maldives National Defence Force Fire and Rescue Service informed that 28 people were evacuated from the building, while nine people were reported missing.

Seven of them were found dead, while two were taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital with severe burns, the report stated.

Firefighters later recovered two more bodies from the building.

The fire was doused at 04:34 am, the report added.

Foreign workers are said to make up about half of Male’s 250,000-strong population, mostly belonging to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The High Commission of India in Maldives expressed grief and informed that it is in close contact with the Maldivian authorities.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire incident in Malé which has caused loss of lives, including reportedly of Indian nationals. We are in close contact with the Maldivian authorities. For any assistance, HCI can be reached on following numbers: +9607361452 ; +9607790701

— India in Maldives (@HCIMaldives) November 10, 2022

According to AFP’s report, the foreign workers’ poor living conditions were brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic when the infection spread three times faster in them as compared with locals. Maldivian political parties have criticised conditions the same. 

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