Bodies of men killed in Abu Dhabi tower blaze to be flown home

The three Pakistani men were killed as they slept as fire engulfed the flat they shared in Abu Dhabi.

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DUBAI // The bodies of the three Pakistani men killed in Tuesday's fire at an Abu Dhabi tower block are to be sent home for burial, Pakistan's ambassador said yesterday.

The three friends died as they slept in their shared flat on the third floor of the building near the corner of Airport Road and Delma Street.

Wali Marjan, Mubarik Ali Khan and Shanar Gul were all workers' bus drivers.

The ambassador, Jamil Ahmed Khan, expressed his sadness at the deaths and ordered embassy staff to contact the victims' families and make arrangements for the bodies to be sent home.

"The embassy is also in contact with the concerned local authorities to ascertain the cause of fire and is completing necessary documentation for compensation to the victims' families," said Mr Khan. "The embassy is making all-out efforts to transport the bodies to Pakistan by first available Pakistan International Airlines' flight."

Eight other people were injured in the fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in one of the third-floor flats.

Many living in the upper floors were forced on to the roof to escape the flames and smoke that blocked their access to the ground level.

Residents said the fire started just after 4pm, with emergency services arriving about 20 minutes later.

It took firefighters two hours to control the blaze, by which time the third floor had been badly damaged. Civil Defence is continuing its investigations.

Dozens of people have been left homeless after power was cut to the building.