A fire has erupted at a chemical storehouse in Henveiru in Male’ City.
While MNDF Fire and Rescue has been mobilized in response to the fire, Maldives Police Service said that the fire at a storehouse at H. Fehiaabaadhuge was reported at 7:25 p.m.
The strength of the fire has caused the glass panels installed on the building to break and fall on the road. MNDF officers are working on evacuating the surrounding buildings.
A vehicle parked near the building has also caught fire.
Despite the efforts from the firefighters and an added fire engine at the scene, the flames have destroyed the storehouse completely and has spread to the surrounding buildings while a child believed to be affected by the fumes have been taken to ADK Hospital for treatment.
Explosions can still be heard from the chemical storehouse.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has said that Kalaafaanu School has been made an emergency shelter for the people of the buildings affected by the fire and instructs them to go to the School.
Meanwhile the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has advised the members of the public not to go the scene of the fire where potentially dangerous fumes are present.
And the people in the affect area are to secure the windows and doors to prevent any dangerous fumes from going into their homes as those with breathing difficulties and respiratory diseases are mostly at risk.
A number of people affected by the smoke have been taken to ADK Hospital along with member of the MNDF Fire and Rescue who was injured.
To assist the victims of fire incident in Male' City, our Social Workers will be active in ADK Hospital & Kalaafaanu School. Can also reach us on 1412. Please help us to pass this message.— Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services (@MoGFSSmv) September 20, 2019
Managing Director of ADK Hospital, Ahmed Affaal said that about six people have been brought to the hospital so far in connection with the fire incident and the hospital is on high alert.
Update: MNDF has recently said that the fire the fire is raging on.
Firetruck equipped with foam has been brought from Velana International Airport and is currently in the area. Firefighters are working with form to control the fire.
As the authorities continue to fight the fire and provide assistance to those affected by it, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has sent his commiserations and ensured that the emergency operations are in effect.
My condolences to all affected by the fire in Henveiru this evening. Our first responders are on the scene and working to contain the fire. Emergency operations are currently underway to provide assistance for all who need it.— Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (@ibusolih) September 20, 2019
Updated at 8:59 p.m.:
Sources have said that two people trapped in one of the burning buildings. Although MNDF has not confirmed this information.
Do you live near the Henvieru fire incident area? Make sure you:— Maldivian Red Crescent (@maldivianrc) September 20, 2019
🏘️Stay away from fire and smoke.
😷Cover nose & mouth when outside.
🏥Seek medical help as soon as you experience symptoms such as breathing difficulty, dizziness.
Updated at 9:15 p.m.:
Fire response teams are working to rescue the people trapped on the fourth floor of the adjacent building. While the number of people trapped in the building are unclear, One Online journalists at the scene report that the families of the people have expressed their concerns due to the delays in the rescue.
Updated at 9:37 p.m.:
The man and child trapped in the adjacent building has been rescued; they are in good health.
Police have ordered that all vehicles parked in the area to be removed immediately.
Updated at 10:10 p.m.:
Sources have said that 56 people have been taken to ADK Hospital while 46 people have been released after treatment.
Health Minister, Abdulla Ameen said that ADK Hospital along with Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and Treetop Hospital is on high alert to receive people affected in the fire.
Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Yumna Maumoon along with the Red Crescent Organization advises donations for those affected by the fire be brought to the Buruzu Magu entrance of Kalaafaanu School.
Updated at 10:25 p.m.:
Vice President, Faisal Naseem, has made a visit to the site of the fire incident and gained first-hand information regarding the current situation.
Updated at 10:31 p.m.:
Education Minister, Aishath Ali has advised the public donations for those affected in the fire.
If you have ANYTHING extra. Clothes, footwear or even toys. Pls come and donate those to Kalaafaanu School where the families and tenants of the fire area are moved to. Some of them have lost everything! Help.#MaleFire— Aishath Ali (@aisthly) September 20, 2019
Updated at 10:36 p.m.:
MNDF has said that fire has been greatly controlled. And while the fire that spread to other buildings have been completely extinguished, a large portion of the initial fire at Fehiaabaadhuge has been controlled as well.
Updated at 10:50 p.m.:
National Disaster Management Authority has said that the immediate care for those affect by the fire has been provided. They took to Twitter to announce that food and water have been arranged for over 100 people currently at the emergency shelter at Kalaafaanu School.
Updated at 11:03p.m.:
Talking to the press, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that authorities are looking for a woman who went missing from the area. He also said that a cabinet meeting will be taking place tonight to explore plans to prevent a similar disaster.
MNDF said that so far seven buildings were affected by the fire.
Sources say the missing person is 40-year-old Shauna from Thaa Atoll Buruni, currently living at H. Radhuvaania.
Updated at 11:15 p.m.:
MNDF has said that 90 percent of the fire has been controlled.
(More to follow)