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Malaysia fire: Four Indians killed in Johor Baru

Four Indians were killed in a fire that gutted a shophouse in Malaysia Wednesday, an official said.

The fire broke out in the shophouse located in Jalan Pasar, Masai, near Johor Baru.

Johor Fire and Rescue deputy director Syukor Sani Hashim said the fire was detected at 3 a.m. and the blaze destroyed two adjacent stationery and textile shops.

"Two of the victims were working at the textile shop while two others were with their friends. The charred remains have yet to be identified," he told reporters.

Hashim said two victims were found upstairs, one on the staircase while another on the ground floor of the double-storied shophouse.

The four Indians were believed to be asleep when the fire broke out at the front portion of the shophouse.

Two fire engines rushed to the spot and brought it under control in ten minutes, Betrnama, official Malaysian news agency reported.

"We believe that arson is involved as a four litre petrol container was found at the scene," the official said.

Shophouse owner Muthu Veeraya, 40, said he was in Kuala Lumpur when he was informed of the fire at 4 a.m.

"The two workers only started work two days ago," Veeraya said.

A large number of Indian nationals, mostly from Tamil Nadu, work in Malaysia, home to nearly two million Indian diaspora engaged in different trades.


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