An eight-month-old toddler who fell down an open elevator shaft with her grandmother from the sixth floor of a residence in Malé yesterday died at the ADK hospital this morning.
“She died because of serious brain injuries suffered from the fall. The impact of the fall had caused internal bleeding of the brain. Furthermore her skull was fractured in multiple areas causing some of the fractured bones to go into the brain,” said Dr Abdulla Niyaz, chief medical officer at ADK.
Her 57-year-old grandmother is recovering from injuries. The pair fell into an empty elevator shaft in Fennaage in the Henveiru ward of the capital.
The opening of the elevator shaft was previously secured with a three-feet concrete wall. The owners told The Maldives Independent that the wall was removed to install the elevator just two days before the fall. But residents said the wall was removed more than a week ago.
Officials at the housing ministry were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muiz told newspaper Haveeru yesterday that the ministry issues permits to take up residency after conducting safety inspections.
“If the owners remove a safety precaution after the permit is issued then they are in violation of the regulation,” he said.
Muiz said the ministry is investigating the incident and will issue a report on its findings.
A Malé city councillor meanwhile expressed concern over the recent deaths from similar accidents in Malé.
Speaking to The Maldives Independent, Shamau Shareef noted the lack of enforcement of building codes as well as monitoring to hold landlords accountable for negligence.
“First of all there should be a written regulation so that the government can at least monitor the situation. Now no one knows what to do and no knows which government institution should look in to cases like these,” he said.
A large number of people from across the country live in rented apartments in the congested capital. According to the 2014 census, the population of the Maldives stands at 341,256 people, of which 133,019 reside in Malé.
A week ago, an 11-year-old was killed after falling from the balcony on the fifth floor of a house in Malé.
Two days before that, an Indian construction worker fell to his death from the ninth floor of a building under construction.