New Delhi, November 10
At least nine Indians are reported to have died in a blaze in Male quarters housing migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. The fire broke out in a garage, near a mosque, around 12:30 am on Thursday and quickly spread upstairs to the cramped living quarters.
The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the 10 deaths, but said it would not comment on how many of the deceased were Indians till their identification. Reports from the Maldives said of the dead, nine were Indians and one Bangladeshi.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the High Commission was in touch with the Maldivian authorities, which were extending all possible assistance to the affected Indians.
Charitable organisations in the Maldives were providing shelter to expatriate workers who escaped the blaze. Asked if India suspected arson, Bagchi said the initial reports indicated a fire. “Either way, let’s wait for details of the investigation,” he said. While eight were found dead, two died of severe burns at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital.
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