Kaashidhoo fire; property damage at MVR 800k

During the massive fire that broke out at the Kaashidhoo boatyard on Tuesday early morning, on March 19, 2024 -- Sun Photo/ Nadhwa, Kaashidhoo

Property damage resulting from the massive fire erupting at Kaafu atoll Kaashidhoo on Tuesday early hours, reached over MVR 800,000 according to owners.

Three vessels dry docked in the island were fully engulfed in fire around 00:30 on Tuesday, the island's council said.

The owner of one of the burnt vessels, spoke with 'Sun' and said their vessel has been dry docked for nearly three years for repairs.

According to the owner, repairs of the vessel has faced indefinite delays owing to insufficient funds. They further said the island's council authority earlier demanded to remove the vessel from the location as well.

"When they [council] demanded for it, I informed them we will begin repairs within the next four months," the vessel owner said. They further informed the council the vessel will be removed from the boatyard after repairs were completed, and added total repairs amounted upwards of MVR 800,000.

"I am ready to report the culpable parties in the case," they added.

When asked if they were aware of the fire's origin, the owner said they were certain it was arson since petrol was doused on the vessel. They further said if attempts to extinguish the fire were made in time, it would have been controlled without massive damages.

Kaashidhoo locals claim the venue is a hotspot for narcotics abusers.

Mohamed Mahfooz, the owner of another burnt vessel, said he bought the vessel from his father, and was dry docked for necessary repairs. Mahfooz alleged the incident was an arson attack.

"The boat was dry docked to install fiber on it, grander was fitted as well. The vessel has been dry docked for two years," Mahfooz commented.

 Bought at a price of MVR 85,000, Mahfooz claimed it was in good condition at the time of docking.

"Even when the vessel was owned by my father, I had spent on its repairs, so it is obvious that I will be the one most affected by this," he added.

According to the council, no one has stepped forward to claim ownership of the third vessel that burnt down.

A team from MNDF was dispatched to Kaashidhoo on Tuesday early morning to control the fire.