Dubai fire kills 16: All bodies identified in 'heartbreaking process'

Those identified include four Sudanese nationals, three Pakistani cousins, four Indians and one Cameroon national


Nasreen Abdulla

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File photo
File photo

Published: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 12:26 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Apr 2023, 10:12 PM

Social workers, and friends and family of the people who died in the building fire in Al Ras worked all through the night to identify their bodies and do the necessary paperwork. “I went home at 5am but I had to return because I was the central point of contact for everyone coming,” said social worker Naseer Vadanappally.

According to him, all 16 people who died have been identified, including six Sudanese nationals, three Pakistani citizens, four Indians, one Cameroon national, one Jordanian and one Egyptian expat. “Relatives, friends and colleagues of these people came through the night to identify them,” he said. “It is really a heartbreaking process.”

It was on Saturday afternoon that a blaze ripped through the building in Al Ras, killing sixteen and injuring nine people. The Dubai Civil Defense Operations Room was first notified about the fire at 12.35pm. A team reached the spot within six minutes and began both evacuation and firefighting operations. Teams from the Port Saeed and Hamriyah fire stations provided backup to the operations.

The fire was brought under control at 2.42pm, after which the cooling operations were started.

Preliminary investigations showed that lack of compliance with building security and safety requirements caused the fire, according to a Dubai Civil Defense spokesperson. “Relevant authorities are conducting a comprehensive investigation to provide a detailed a report on the causes of the accident,” he said.

Eyewitnesses said they saw flames billowing out of the apartment and heard "a loud bang". According to residents in the area, at least some shops in the building have remained shut on Sunday as investigations into the incident continue.

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