Garage fire: Police work to ID bodies, ask to report missing migrants

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

Police have asked for information on migrant workers missing from the Maldivian capital since Wednesday night, as they work in identifying the bodies recovered from a building in Maafannu district where a fire broke out early Thursday, killing at least 10 people.

The fire broke out in a car repair 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.

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

10 people died, while one, identified as a Bangladeshi national, is in critical condition.

 Police said they were working on identifying the victims and the injured.

Police have asked for information regarding the people living in and the people believed to have visited Nirufeni and neighboring M. Send Rose.

“Share information regarding the migrants living in Male’ who haven’t been heard from since Wednesday night by contacting the Serious and Organized Crime Department at 9911099 and police hotline 3322111," asked the police.

According to authorities, the migrant quarters had housed at least 38 people.

28 people were evacuated out of the building, while nine people were initially 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.

Speaking to press, Colonel Ibrahim Rasheed, Commandant, MNDF Fire and Rescue Service said the dead bodies recovered from the scene were severely burnt, making it difficult to identify them or even determine their sex.

The bodies have been taken to the Galolhu Mortuary.