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Azerbaijan tragedy: Remains of Lankan students to be repatriated

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Postmortems of the three Sri Lankan university students who died in a fire in Azerbaijan last Thursday have been completed, Foreign Relations Ministry Spokesperson Ruwanthi Delpitiya said.

The Sri Lankan mission in Tehran, Iran, have been coordinating the repatriation process of the remains with Azerbaijan authorities, said Delpitiya.

The process is now at its final stage, she added.

The three Sri Lankan university students who had been studying at the Western Caspian University in Baku, Azerbaijan, died as a result of suffocation when smoke from a fire in their apartment building had entered their small flat.

According to the Report News Agency of Azerbaijan, the fire had occurred on the ground floor of the two-story building located in the Bayil metropolitan area in Baku. Local police said the cause of the fire was a short circuit in the wiring and that the three bodies were found in a room of just 36 square meters.

Of the deceased, Malsha Sandeepni and Tharuki Amaya aged 23 and 21 respectively were members of the same family who had lived in Piliyandala while Amodya Jayakodi aged 24 was from Kaduwela.

According to official government news portal, news.lk, an aunt of the two sisters Malsha and Tharuki also died in a heart attack upon hearing the tragic news.

The Azerbaijanian news agency further reported that the three students had attended a pre-university English language course at the Western Caspian University in Baku.

Since the university does not provide hostel accommodation nor offer a service for renting apartments, the three students had rented out an apartment where they lived on their own.