All four of an Indian family
killed in Muscat fire

MUSCAT — All four members of an Indian family perished in a fire that engulfed their modest home in a narrow street in Muttrah, a thickly populated district in the Muscat governorate, early Saturday morning.

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Published: Mon 26 Jul 2010, 10:34 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:48 AM

The victims were identified as Puleel Ashokan, a 42-year-old tailor, his wife Bindu, 36, and their sons Sharon and Sarang, aged 12 and seven respectively.

They were sleeping while the blaze, reportedly started by a short circuit, spread through the house built of plywood and corrugated sheeting and located near the Muttrah Gate.

The house was totally gutted within an hour after the fire broke out. The tragedy occurred at around 6.30am, local residents said.

The residents of the area added that they saw firefighters bringing out four charred bodies from the remains of the house. Ashokan, who hails from Kannur district in Kerala, had been living in Oman for the past 20 years and ran a small tailoring shop in Muttrah. His children were studying in the Indian School Darseit. Ashokan’s family came to Oman about five years ago.

Police said they suspected the blaze was caused by a short circuit, adding that the victims might have been asphyxiated and investigations are under way. An adjacent house was also damaged.

Ashokan’s two brothers, who also live in Oman, and his friends were trying to complete formalities and send the bodies to India.

Meanwhile, police in Oman have announced the arrest of three Asians on charges of kidnapping a person, also an Asian, and demanding ransom.

The accused had detained the victim in their house in Hamriya in Muscat. Police said an anonymous caller contacted the victim’s brother and demanded a certain amount of money to release him.

Sleuths from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) investigated the case and the culprits were arrested. The case has been referred to the Public Prosecution.

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