(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The expatriate community in the UAE was on Tuesday grappling with a double tragedy that has claimed six members of two families.
A young Indian and his two children were killed after their villa caught fire in Ras Al Khaimah in the wee hours of Tuesday. His wife, who suffered burns, is under treatment in the ICU at RAK Saif Hospital.
In the other tragedy, two dead children in the bathroom and the body of the father floating in a swimming pool on the grounds of a villa in Dubailand was the scene that greeted a Pakistani man's wife when she returned home from a concert on Monday morning.
The delirious woman screamed into her mobile and managed to contact the police operations room, who rushed to the tragic home, which once echoed with the laughter of two happy girls, aged two and seven.
Investigations are continuing in both cases to ascertain circumstances leading to the incidents.
In the Ras Al Khaimah case, it is not known how the villa in Julan caught fire. "Apparently, the fire took place around 3am. We don't know exactly what happened. The police are looking into the cause of the fire," said an Indian social worker from Ras Al Khaimah.
The victims are C. Shihabudheen, 30, son Finaz, a kindergarten student, and two-year-old daughter Majitha. Shihabudheen's wife Ummusalma, 23, suffered burns in her hands and face. However, she is said to be out of danger.
Finaz and his father Shihabudheen, who died in the Ras Al Khaimah fire.
The social worker said Ummusalma had not been told of the deaths of her husband and children. "It will be a great shock for her and doctors preferred not to inform the tragic news now." Shihabudheen worked in the purchasing department of a foodstuff company. The family hails from Malappuram in the south Indian state of Kerala.
Civil defence officials did not say what caused the fire. They said it was too late to save the man and his children as the smoke had consumed their lungs.
"We don't know what caused the fire. The matter is still under investigation," the official said in response to a question that the victims had inhaled noxious fumes.
The bodies of the three have been moved to a hospital in the city and the post-mortem report is awaited.
In the Dubai incident, police said the Pakistani national was sinking under a load of financial woes and may have taken the extreme step of killing his daughters and drowning himself in the deep end of the swimming pool. They said the 40-year-old man did not know to swim and met a watery grave as he had planned.
Investigating officials added the man was suffering from psychological problems resulting from his burdens and could have strangled the girls in a fit of anguish. "We found his body in the pool and the death looked mysterious at first. The bodies of the girls were found in the bathroom, near the basin, and we pieced together the sequence of events leading to the murders and suicide," a police source told Khaleej Times.
The man's brother-in-law was also in the house during the accident, but did not know of the crime as he had gone to bed, police said.
"The girls may have been asleep when they were strangled to death in the bathroom," they said.
After killing them, the man walked to the swimming pool, jumped in and let the water do the rest.
Neighbours said the family appeared to be close and spent a lot of time together. They said the man, who worked in a leading company, doted on his children and stayed with them when their mother went out.
The bodies have been shifted to the General Department of Forensic Medicine and an autopsy will be performed after the forensic report is received.