News reports said that three Pakistanis are said to be among 16 people reportedly killed, as well as nine injured, in a huge fire that broke out in a five-storey residential building in the densely populated area of Deira in Dubai.
The fire broke out in an apartment building off Al Khaleej Street in Al Ras, where the old Deira market is located.
Naseer Vatanappally, an Indian social worker who was at the Dubai Police mortuary to help identify the victims, said he was coordinating with Dubai Police, the Indian Consulate in Dubai, other diplomatic missions and friends and relatives of the deceased, Gulf News reported.
So far, we have managed to identify four Indians, including a couple from Kerala and two men from Tamil Nadu who worked at the building, three Pakistani cousins and a Nigerian woman, he said.
Dubai police authorities say an investigation into the cause of the fire was under way.
According to a preliminary report, there were no proper arrangements for fire protection and safety routes in the building.
The first crews were on the scene at 12.41pm, around six minutes after the first emergency call was received, reported The National.
The fire on the fourth floor resulted in the death of 16 people and injuries to nine others, the newspaper quoted a Dubai Civil Defence statement as reporting.
Preliminary investigations showed that lack of compliance with building security and safety requirements caused the fire. Relevant authorities are conducting a comprehensive investigation to provide a detailed a report on the causes of the accident.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, has a population of around 3.3 million, of whom almost 90% are foreigners.
The city has experienced spectacular fires in the past, causing extensive damage but few casualties.
In 2017, the authorities announced the adoption of stricter building regulations to minimize the risk of fire, attributed mainly to flammable materials used in the exterior cladding of buildings.