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Maldives reschedules Republic Day function to Friday after Male fire incident

Male: Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday announced that the official function to mark the country's Republic Day had been rescheduled, following the tragic fire incident in the capital city of Male.

The Republic Day function has been rescheduled for Friday in Dharubaaruge. "The President's Office announced Thursday that the official function to mark Republic Day had been rescheduled. The function was earlier scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2022. It will now be held at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022, in Dharubaaruge," Maldives President's Office said in a release.

"The decision follows the tragic fire incident in Iskandhar Magu, Maafannu Ward, Male City, earlier on Thursday morning, which resulted in the loss of life and damage to property," it added.

At least 10 people lost their lives in the Male garage fire, which reportedly included Indian nationals. Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid expressed his condolences to the victims of the fire incident in Male.

"Deeply saddened by the news of a tragic fire in Male', that has taken the lives of 10 expatriate workers and affected several families. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased and affected. A full investigation is underway," Shahid tweeted.

The Indian High Commission also expressed grief over the lives lost in the fire incident.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire incident in Male which has caused loss of lives, including reportedly of Indian nationals. We are in close contact with the Maldivian authorities," the Indian High Commission tweeted.

The High Commission said it is reaching out to the families of the affected Indian nationals.
"Update on the fire incident in Male: Maldivian authorities have confirmed the loss of 10 lives in the unfortunate incident. The process of identification of the deceased is ongoing. High Commission is reaching out to the families of the affected Indian nationals," it added.

Local authorities said eight of the deceased were Indian nationals while one person was from Bangladesh, Maldives news publication AVAS reported.

The nationalities of two other victims remain unknown so far. The sources revealed that some of the deceased people were trapped in their rooms and bathrooms, the report said.
Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Fire and Rescue Service said that the incident happened in a building where a large number of Indian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi migrant workers lived. (ANI)

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