Garage fire: India, Bangladesh promised a full investigation

Emergency workers transport dead bodies to ambulance from M. Nirufehi, the scene of a deadly fire that claimed 10 lives. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has provided assurance that a full investigation will be conducted on the fire which broke out at M. Nirufehi, in Male’ City, on early Thursday morning, to India and Bangladesh.

Minister Shahid, via a tweet on Thursday night, revealed he spoke to India’s Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen regarding the incident during which he conveyed condolences on behalf of the Maldivian government, and the people of Maldives.

“Informed that a full investigation is underway,” the Minister added.

The fire broke out in a car repair garage in M. Nirufehi, located near the Maaveyo Mosque, around 12:30 am. The garage is located on the ground floor, while the first-floor houses cramped living quarters for migrant workers – the only ventilation – a single window. Authorities state that cooking gas cylinders were next to each bed, where the migrants slept.

The quarters housed migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

10 people died, while one, identified as a Bangladeshi national, is in critical condition. Efforts are underway to identify the deceased bodies, reported by authorities to have been severely burned.

As per the authorities, the migrant quarters had housed at least 38 people, and there were cooking gas cylinders placed next to each bed. 28 were rescued, of which nine remain under NDMA’s care; six women and three men.