Four chemical warehouses caught fire: MNDF

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has revealed that Friday night's tragic fire originated in a chemical warehouse in Henveiru.

At a press conference last night, MNDF's Fire and Rescue Service's Commandant, Colonel Abdulla Ibrahim said the fire originated from a chemical warehouse which spread to three other warehouses in the same area.

While the initial fire sparked after a loud explosion in the warehouse, the door of the building opposite to the warehouse caught on fire, which prevented the residents from evacuating the building.

He further revealed that MNDF arrived at the site immediately after receiving report of the fire, and said there were some difficulties in navigating the firetrucks due to parked vehicles in the area. He added that the fire did not spread to additional buildings other than that which were already ablaze when the MNDF teams arrived at the scene.

When authorities received reports of a missing person, the police searched the building six times, said MNDF. However, the charred body of the victim was not discovered until later.

Colonel Abdulla Ibrahim acknowledged the assistance they received from police officers, and Maldives Airport Company Limited in putting out the fire. The colonel said MNDF periodically checks the chemical warehouses in the capital, and disclosed that discussions have been held in the past with government bodies regarding the relocation of chemical storage facilities away from residential areas.