10 charred to death in massive villa blaze

10 charred to death in massive villa blaze

DUBAI — A massive blaze gutted a two-storied villa complex housing labourers, killing at least 10 and injuring dozens on Tuesday morning. All the labourers hailed from Karim Nagar district in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

By (By Riyasbabu)

Published: Tue 26 Aug 2008, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:10 PM

The labour accommodation unit in Deira which was gutted by the early morning fire

Police initially said seven people were burnt to death in the inferno at about 5.30am. Later, three more bodies were recovered from the wreckage. All the bodies have been shifted to Dubai Police morgue.

Eyewitnesses said they saw panicking men, with flames on their clothes, jumping out from windows, as the fire raged in the villa.

Charred remains of the victims could be seen in the wreckage as Civil Defence officials were seen digging for the bodies, said Ajay Kumar, an eyewitness.

The building had 30 rooms and approximately 500 men were housed in the complex illegally, with some 20 people sleeping in one room alone,” Pulip Sankar, a survivor with burn injuries, told Khaleej Times.

Sankar said he woke up because of smoke. 'The moment I realised fire had enveloped my room, I jumped out from the second floor,' he recounted.

Sniffing dogs and firefighters were brought to the scene to recover the bodies.

A firefighter said the bodies were difficult to find as all of them had been charred and were on the top floor of the villa complex.

Civil Defence officials said they rushed to the spot soon after the fire was reported but could not rescue the men trapped on the second floor of the building.

'We are investigating into the cause of the fire. Our experts are on the spot. Efforts are on to find the missing people,' said Brig. Abdul Jaleel Mahdi, Deputy Director of Preventive Security at Dubai Police.

'The fire broke out when most of the men were sleeping. This caused the high causality,' added Brig. Mahdi.

'We cordoned off the area soon after the fire erupted and all the people from the neighbouring villa complex were evacuated immediately,' said a Civil Defence official on the spot.

Meanwhile, relatives and friends of the victims gathered in the vicinity, anxious to find any information about their relatives.

Indian consulate officials visited the spot and promised all necessary support to the families of the deceased.

Here's what readers say...

Where can the labourers go and stay with Dh600 -700 salary? Bachelors can not get accommodation everywhere and where they get, they have to pay very high rent which they can not afford. So they are forced to stay 15-20 people in 1 room.... Very sad ..... There is no room for bachelors where 60 percent working population are bachelors..

- Zenith, Dubai. zenithinblr@rediffmail.com

Fire in Dubai has become a very common happening in these days. As far as the facility of workers is concerned, there needs to be a better safety arrangement to be planned in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. It was quite embarrassing to read that 500 people are housed at 30 rooms! The frequent happenings of such accidents signal the ignorance of basic safety requirements to be followed in residential and commercial buildings, particularly in large labour facilities.

- Ramachandran Nair, Ruwi, Oman. athira@omantel.net.om

I fell pity for this people who are treated like animals without reasonable salaries and housing facilities. Companies are making huge profits out of these hapless workers’ sweat and blood who are deprived of even their basic human rights. Even government ignores the difficulties these workers are in. Only God can help them.

- Sushil, New York. sushil_bindu@hotmail.com

It is totally the fault of the government because the government has no control over the companies. I request the government to conduct frequent inspection ofthe labour camps and find out the problems which the workers are facing from the companies. The government should take strict action against the perpetrators of this kind of tragedies resulting in the loss of innocent lives. The primary responsibility of the companies is to provide workers with proper accommodation and transport which the companies usually neglect. They mention all these facilities in the contract which they ignore later on. There are companies which are not giving salaries for several months but force employees to work even overtime without any benefits. In case of a labourer requests for cancellation of visa, sponsors get no entry for him for one year or more. Therefore my wish is that the sponsors should provide suitable and safe accommodation to the workers. I request also the government to monitor the conditions of the workers and take action against the managements violating the rules and regulations.

-Syed, Fujairah / U.A.E. deluxmn@rediffmail.com

How sad!!!!!! Must have been a very painful experience.

-John, Abu Dhabi. johne9@emirates.net.ae

Periodic inspection is vital by the government to reduce this type of incidents, particularly in labour camps. Nevertheles, it's unfortunate..

- Saradhi, Sharjah. gajavalli.saradhi@gmail.com

Sad situation!! May god bless them all!!! Government should take careful steps for further betterment. Labourers should be given more education regarding safety measures in matters like gas cylinders especially! Companies concerned should check the labour camps. Labourers should be given consideration which is never found as much! This was really a sad situation.

- Malika, Sharjah. charismatic_malika@hotmail.com

This kind of accidents will keep on happening if the government doesn’t take necessary steps to prevent the recurrence of them.

-Valski, Deira. valski78@yahoo.com

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