Fire breaks out in a garage in the wee hours of November 9, 2022: NDMA, MNDF and Red Crescent active on the scene. Photo/Dhauru

Maldives assures India, Bangladesh of thorough fire probe

"Informed that a full investigation is under-way," Shahid tweeted.

12 November 2022

Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid on Friday spoke to his counterparts from India and Bangladesh and assured them of a thorough investigation into a deadly fire which killed 10 migrant workers. 

Most of the victims of the fire that broke out at M. Nirufehi house in the junction of Iskandhar Magu and Koarukendi Magu in Male on Thursday morning were Indians and Bangladeshis.

  • Seven Indians: three women and four men

  • Two Bangladeshis; a woman and a man

  • One dead body is yet to be identified; it is male

Foreign minister Shahid tweeted:

  • He contacted Indian external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr Abul Kalam Abdul Momen via phone

  • On behalf of the government and the people of Maldives, conveyed condolences to the bereaved families of the fire victims

"Informed that a full investigation is under-way," he tweeted. 

The labour quarters built on top of a garage in the Nirufehi house were occupied by Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans working in the Maldives. 

It is learnt that:

  • On both the first and second floors, migrant labourers lived on rent, most of them in separate quarters

  • Tiny rooms have been made to accommodate around 25 people

  • In some rooms there were also couples 

The entire building was very congested, fire and rescue sources told the media.

The issue of migrant workers being accommodate in slums is a common but unsolved problem in the country. There are several factors that increase the risk of adverse events such as this fire due to the congested living they are provided. MNDF, having arrived on scene promptly, had said that a gas cylinder was placed next to each bed in the living spaces of Nirufehi house.