The fire that broke out in an apartment building in Al Ras, Dubai on Saturday caused the death of 16 people. Among the deceased four were Indians, including a couple from Kerala.
The couple belongs to Vengara in the Malappuram district of Kerala and the other two were Tamilians. Reports from the officials say that besides the dead about nine people were injured in the fire.
The four Indians have been identified by the Indian Consulate in Dubai
Indian Consulate has identified four out of the total sixteen victims as Indians, a couple from the Malappuram district of Kerala and two Tamils.
The deceased have been identified as Rijesh Kalangadan, 38 years of age and his wife Jeshi Kandamangalath, 32 years of age, Imam Kasim Abdul Khader 43 years and Gudu Saliyakoondu 49 years.
It has been reported that a fire broke out on the fourth floor of an apartment building in a residential area in Al Ras, Dubai. The area is one of the older parts of Dubai and is near the gold and spice markets.
The couple from Kerala was living next to the apartment in which the fire broke out. They have been found dead in their apartment after inhaling the smoke from the fire that broke out near their apartment.
Bijender Singh, consul, Consular and Labour at the Consulate General of India said that they have received the passport copies of the deceased through a social worker named Naseer Vatanappally. He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased.
He also expressed his sincere thanks to the social workers and others who have helped them to speed up the process.
The bodies of the deceased were kept at the Qusais Morgue in Dubai. The consulate of India is taking measures to connect with the local authorities for the repatriation procedures. Apart from the four Indians who lost their lives, the others were six Sudanese, three Pakistanis, one Jordanian, one Cameroonian and one Egyptian.
According to the current media reports, it was known that Rijesh was working as a business development manager and his wife Jeshi was a school teacher.
The couple were sleeping in their apartment when the fire broke out and they died of inhaling the smoke.
The other two Indian victims were Tamilians, Gudu Saliyakoondu, who has been doing the job as a watchman cum cleaner and Abdul Khader, who has been working as a painter cum carpenter. The elder brother of Saliyakoondu, Saliga Sahib Gudu Bashawho was also in Dubai said to the media that he was outside the building helping to rescue others while his brother died inside.
When the news of the fire spread out to the public many people including locals and social workers came with support. Naseer Vadanappally was one such social worker from Kerala who was at the forefront to help to fasten the procedures
He helped the Indian Consulate in identifying the bodies and arranging for the repatriation procedures. He said that all measures were taken to send the bodies of the deceased to their homeland without any delay.
The fire broke out on Saturday afternoon and the according to the data from the Dubai Civil Defence office, they got the information about the fire by 12.35 in the noon.
The fire and rescue team reached the spot within a few minutes and started evacuating the residents from the apartment.
The rescue team got support from the Hamriyah Fire Station and Port Saeed Fire Station and they were able to douse the fire by 2.42 p.m. The team was able to rescue the people on the third floor by around 3 p.m. with the help of cranes.
The primary investigation report reveals that the reason for such incidents is the lack of compliance with safety measures and building security. However, it is suspected that the fire might have occurred because of an electric short circuit.
The Civil Defence of Dubai said that the officials are conducting a thorough investigation to find out the cause of the fire. They reminded the residential and commercial building owners to follow the safety measures properly to save the lives of the public when lending out their buildings. An official from the Civil Defence expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims of the fire.
The building in which the fire happened was a five-storied building, on one of the busy streets in the district of Deira, in an emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It is an area popular for busy streets and some historical landmarks. As the investigation was in progress the police had sealed off the entrance to the building.
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The place where the fire broke out is one of the busiest residential areas in Deira, it is a home for a majority of the migrant workers and traders. The residents of such apartments are mainly people from other countries who are in the city in search of a better job and better life security.
According to the information from the local media, one of the deceased Tamilians has been working in the city for more than twenty years. The victims were identified with the help of friends, relatives and colleagues and the sight of people identifying their dear ones was a heart-breaking one, expressed one of the social workers.