Toxic substances in air surrounding building that caught fire: EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that the smoke from M. Fehiniruge fire contains toxic substances that are harmful to human life.

A 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. Ninety percent of the fire was contained by 4:00 am and completely quelled by 4:34 am. Eleven deaths have been reported thus far.

EPA's Director General Ibrahim Naeem told the media that it has been identified that toxic substances that are harmful to human health are in the air around the burnt building. He said the agency was working to identify the levels of the substances in the air.

Naeem expressed concern that some people were not wearing masks in the area where the fire broke out. The police have been given instructions on how to proceed further, he said.

At the time of the fire, thick smoke spread in the neighborhood due to the intensity of the fire. Nearby buildings were evacuated for fear that the fire may spread to other buildings. However, no other buildings caught fire.