Maafannu fire: Eight Indians among the dead

Eight Indians were among the dead in the fire in M.Nirufehige, AVAS has learned.

The fire broke out at a garage in M. Nirufehige early Thursday, and police received reports of the incident at 12:17 am. Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) was alerted at around 12:30 am and Fire and Rescue were on the scene by 12:33 am. Due to the intensity of the fire, several nearby buildings were evacuated as the fire was expected to spread to other nearby buildings. Ninety percent of the fire was contained by 4:00 am and completely quelled by 4:34 am.

While authorities have confirmed that 11 people died in the incident, AVAS has learned that eight of the deceased were Indian nationals, and one from Bangladesh. The nationalities of the remaining two victims are not clear.

The fire first broke out in the garage in the lower part of the house. According to neighbors, about 18 foreigners lived in the building. The house has 10 rooms on two floors with wooden decks. According to sources, some of the dead were trapped in their rooms and bathrooms. The garage has caught fire three times before, neighbors said.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is assisting the victims and those evacuated from nearby buildings. The NDMA has set up a temporary center at Maafannu Stadium to help the victims of the fire.

The bodies of the deceased have now been taken to the Galolhu Cemetry. The cause of the fire is still unclear.