Dubai: Four Indians, including a couple from Kerala, were among 16 people killed after a massive fire broke out in a residential building in Dubai that also injured nine others, officials said on Sunday.
The fire broke out on the fourth floor of the five-storey apartment building in the Al-Ras area, one of the oldest parts of Dubai, and began spreading to other areas, they said.
Sixteen people died and nine others were seriously injured, officials said.
The Indian Consulate in Dubai confirmed that four Indians were among the dead.
“The Indian victims include Rijesh Kalangadan (38) and his wife Jeshi Kandamangalath (32). The others include Gudu Saliyakoondu (49) and Imamkasim Abdul Khader (43),” Bijender Singh, Consul, Consular and Labour, at the Indian Consulate, told PTI.
“We have received their passport copies through (Naseer) Vatanappally (an Indian social worker). We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families and thank the social workers and others who have reached out with support. We are coordinating with the local authorities for the repatriation procedures,” Singh added.
Quoting Naseer Vatanappally, who was at the Dubai Police mortuary, the Gulf News earlier reported that four Indians, including a couple from Kerala, have been identified among the victims.
Two men from Tamil Nadu who worked at the building, 3 Pakistani cousins and a Nigerian woman have also been identified.
Kalangadan worked as a business development manager with a travel and tourism company while Kandamangalath was a school teacher, the paper said.
The Dubai Civil Defence Operations Room was notified about the fire at 12.35 pm on Saturday, officials said.
A team from the Dubai Civil Defence headquarters arrived at the site of the blaze and began evacuating residents in the building.
Teams from the Port Saeed Fire Station and the Hamriyah Fire Station were also summoned. The flames were doused by 2:42 pm (local time), the paper said.
Around 3pm, the civil defence team rescued the occupants on the third floor by cranes. Eyewitnesses said they saw flames billowing out of the building, according to the Khaleej Times newspaper.
Videos shared on social media show thick black smoke and flames leaping out of an apartment window, the report said.