Police confirm remaining unidentified fire victim as Indian national

The body of the 10th person found at the scene of the fire is being taken away. | Photo: Fayaz Musa

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Police Service has revealed that the identity of the man who died in the fire that broke out in Malé City on Wednesday night to be an Indian national.

Seven of the 10 people killed in one of the deadliest fire in Maldives recent history were Indians, police said earlier. Two Bangladeshis were also killed and the identity of the 10th was unknown till today.

However, police said in a statement today that the identity of the deceased has been identified. Police did not give any further details other than that the man was an Indian citizen.

The bodies of the victims were burnt so badly it has been difficult to identify them, police said.

Authorities have also begun the process of repatriation of the bodies of the seven Indian and two Bangladeshi nationals charred to death in the biggest-ever fire incident here in the country’s capital.

The fire broke out in a car repair garage in M. Nirufehi, located near the Maaveyo Mosque, around 12:30 am local time on Thursday. The garage is located on the ground floor, while the first floor of the building housed migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

A Bangladeshi expatriate who survived the fire is currently being treated at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). The victim received third or fourth-degree burns, while authorities reported the individual sustained severe burns to their body making their identification difficult, the report said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that they have begun repatriating the bodies of the victims who perished in Thursday early morning’s fire, it said. Authorities further stated that the families of the victims will have the support of their respective embassies or high commissions in the Maldives, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in repatriating the bodies of the deceased back home.

The Ministry said on Friday that they were closely monitoring the incident and that they were conducting a full investigation into the incident.

“The Ministry is closely monitoring the situation of the massive fire incident that occurred in Male City on 10th November 2022. So far, authorities have confirmed 10 fatalities believed to be expatriates,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted.

This is the biggest fire incident to date in Male and is believed to have started from a vehicle garage operated on the ground floor of the western area of the building. The house is used as an accommodation block by foreign workers in Male, and workers from Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh work there.

The Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure has begun to clear up the rubble. Members of the ministry’s Public Works Department (PWD) are clearing the area of debris, iron and other construction materials. They have also begun to clear the road from the vehicles that got damaged in the fire, the report added.