The fire that broke out in a garage located at the heart of the city has claimed 10 lives.
The fire was reported to the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) at 12:27 AM last night. The fire department worked to contain and extinguish the first till 04:35 this morning.
The incident occurred at M. Nirufehi, a building located at the juncture of Iskandharu Magu and Koarukendi Magu, in the ground floor garage. Reports have revealed that the affected floors were occupied by foreign nationals.
MNDF revealed that they have confirmed at least 10 deaths due to the fire, eight of them Indian nationals. MNDF reported that some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition of gender and identification.
However, some individuals are still missing and MNDF has continued to scour through the ruins assuming some may still be stuck under the rubble.
Chief Executive of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Hisaan Hassan stated that three buildings were vacated in addition to the burnt building. He said that a total of 58 individuals were relocated to temporary accommodations at the Maafannu Stadium; 30 locals and 28 expats of Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Indian nationality.
MNDF highlighted that the garage had seen two previous fire incidents, with the most recent incident in May and while the garage had gas cutters, the labor quarters above used cooking gas in great quantities.
Colonel Ibrahim Rasheed told the media that although the garage held gas cutters, further investigation is required to identify the cause of the fire. He said that while two were taken to IGMH for treatment, one of them died during treatment and the other individual remains in critical condition.
This incident marks the worst fire related incident in the Maldives with so many casualties. In 2019, one person died in a fire that broke out in Henveiru.