One arrested in villa blaze case

DUBAI - Dubai Police have arrested one person and are looking for another, for sub-letting the villa complex that was gutted in a massive blaze on Tuesday morning.

By (By Riyasbabu and Afkar Abdullah)

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Published: Fri 29 Aug 2008, 1:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

Ten Indians and a Bangladeshi national were charred to death in the inferno that reduced the two-storied villa into ashes. Fourteen others sustained minor injuries in the fire in the Naif villa that housed hundreds of labourers.

All the Indians killed in the fire hailed from Metpally Taluk in Karim Nagar district of the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

"The agent who had rented out the villa illegally has been arrested and we are currently searching for another person who was involved in sub-letting of the complex," Brigadier Abdul Jaleel Mehdi Mohammed, Deputy Director of the General Department of Preventive Security at Dubai Police told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

"The villa complex illegally housed hundreds of people by dividing the rooms and putting bunker beds. The arrested agent was interrogated and referred to the Public prosecution," said Brigadier Mehdi.

He stressed that all those behind the illegal housing of labourers would be booked, and added that Dubai Police would conduct DNA tests to identify the 11 men who were burnt to death.

"Most of the bodies are charred and the relatives could not identify them. All the family members were asked to come for DNA tests so as to identify the bodies," Brigadier Mehdi said.

"Dubai police will provide all assistance to the families of the victims to repatriate the bodies home, or to bury it here," he said.

All the bodies are currently kept in Dubai Police morgue in Al Qusais, he added.

A Civil Defence official said a group of experts had been assigned to investigate the cause of the inferno and assess the quality of safety measures that were in place when the fire erupted.

Indian Consul General Venu Rajamony visited the spot on Wednesday and offered all necessary support to the grieving families and survivors who lost all their belongings in the fire.

Rajamony said shelters and financial assistance had been provided to 42 Indians who had lost their belongings in the inferno.

He added that Indian mission is in touch with the family members of the victims to provide them all support.

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