Siyam: Garages must be relocated to non-residential areas

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s leader, Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed attends MDA's extraordinary congress on August 10, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Garages and other industrial businesses in Male’ City must be moved to non-residential areas, states leader of Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), Meedhoo MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed.

He made the call on a tweet after a fire in a car garage in Maafannu district resulted in the death of 10 people in the worst fire in Male’ City in recent history early Thursday.

Siyam prayed for the victims of the fire.

“I call upon the government to relocate industrial businesses away from residential areas as soon as possible,” he said.

The fire broke out in the 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.

Rescue workers recover a body from M. Nirufehi on November 10, 2022. (Sun Photo)

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

According to Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Fire and Rescue Service, 28 people were evacuated out of the building, while nine people were reported missing.

Seven of them were found dead, while two were taken to Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) with severe burns. One of them died at the hospital, while the second, identified as a Bangladeshi national, is in critical condition.

Firefighters later recovered two more bodies from the building, raising the death toll 10.

According to authorities, the bodies recovered from the building were severely burnt, making identification difficult.

The death toll could rise as firefighters continue recovery efforts.