Foreign forensic experts assist Maldives police in fire investigations

Fire breaks out at secondhand market, Neelan Fihaara, in Male' City on January 9, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

Maldives police are being assisted by a team of foreign forensic experts in fire investigations in investigations into recent fires, according to the police.

Earlier Monday, Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed said the police had began a major investigation into recent fire incidents in Male’ and the atolls.

He called for public support for the investigation.

The investigation comes after Maldives was hit with three fire incidents the last three days, including the fire at the unregulated auction marketplace known locally as the Neelan Fihaara Monday morning.

On Sunday, a fire burned down one of the buildings of the school in GDh. Fiyoaree, and the day before, a fire broke out at the waste collection point in R. Alifushi.

The causes of all three fires are unclear at this point.

The fire at the Neelan Fihaara broke out at around 06:00 am Monday. The fire spread to the accommodation block next door that housed over 200 of the city council’s migrant workers, rendering over 200 workers homeless.

The Neelan Fihaara is not new to fire incidents. Fires broke out at the marketplace in 2015 and 2017. Authorities suspect foul play in both cases.

The latest fire took place shortly after the marketplace was reopened despite forced closure by the city council.