Four Indians — a couple from Kerala and two workers from Tamil Nadu — were among 16 people killed in a fire that broke out in a residential building in the Al Ras area, Dubai, on Saturday afternoon.
According to a Dubai Civil Defence spokesperson, the fire, which started on the fourth floor and left nine people injured in addition to the deaths, was caused by lack of compliance with building security and fire safety requirements, as per preliminary investigations. A more detailed investigation is being undertaken.
The Dubai Civil Defence firefighting teams arrived within six minutes of getting the call for help, and started dousing the flames and getting people to safety. The first responder was a team from the Dubai Civil Defence headquarters, and then it was backed by personnel from the Port Saeed Fire Station and the Hamriyah Fire Station. It took two hours to bring the fire under control.
The Indian victims were identified with the help of an Indian social worker named Naseer Vatanappally, as per a Gulf News report. The social worker told the newspaper that he was at the Dubai Police mortuary on Saturday night to identify the bodies, and was co-ordinating with Dubai Police, the Indian Consulate in Dubai, and other diplomatic missions.
Vatanappally told the Dubai newspaper, “So far, we have managed to identify 4 Indians, including a couple from Kerala and two men from Tamil Nadu who worked at the building, 3 Pakistani cousins and a Nigerian woman.”