Ten people were killed and eight injured when a fire ripped through an illegal workers’ accommodation in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi, according to media reports. The blaze started Friday on the first floor of a two-floor commercial building that contained seven shops and a car repair shop, Abu Dhabi daily The National reported.
Abu Dhabi police received a phone call informing them that a fire had started in the car repair shop in the building located in the Mussaffah area of the city. The report added that warehouse space in the building was being used for illegal accommodation for foreign workers.
Police said they had arrested the owner of the building and were still trying to find out how the fire started. The injured were given first aid and then taken to the hospital, while police and firefighters began the task of recovering the bodies.
The report did not mention whether there was any Indian among the victims. The UAE is home to around two million expatriate Indians, most of them blue collar workers. “I don’t know the men (victims) but I feel sad. This can happen to anyone. We all want to know what happened,” Mohammed Kalim, who works in a car repair shop in Mussaffah, said.
A private driving instructor, on the other hand, said that he did not believe the news when he first heard it. “I was praying in the mosque near my house and I heard the men discussing it. I was heartbroken at the lives lost,” he said. (IANS)