A massive fire broke out at a hotel in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada on Sunday morning, claiming nine lives and left 15 people injured. The hotel was being used as a COVID-19 facility by a hospital. Following the incident, fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
Hotel Swarna Palace was being used by Ramesh hospitals on lease to treat COVID-19 patients.
Officials informed the fire broke around 5:15 am in the morning, adding that it was brought under control within 30 minutes, reported news agency ANI. The hotel had 30 COVID patients and 10 staff members at the time of the accident.
Over 22 people have been rescued from the hotel and have been taken to the hospital. Efforts are on to rescue others stuck inside the building. Two people had reportedly jumped off the building to save their lives.
"The reason for fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain," Krishna District Collector Mohammad Imtiaz informed the media.
Speaking to the media, a fire official informed that a staffer who had caught fire in his PPE ran out of the ward to douse it but the fire spread rapidly to the whole ward. However, officials have been instructed to conduct enquiry over the matter.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu took to twitter offering condolences to the victims and the families of the deceased.
Anguished by the fire at a Covid Centre in Vijayawada. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible. Discussed the prevailing situation with AP CM @ysjagan Ji and assured all possible support.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2020
विजयवाड़ा के कोविड केयर सेंटर में आग लगने से हुई जीवन क्षति से अत्यन्त व्यथित हूं। दुर्घटना में घायल लोगों और परिजनों के प्रति हार्दिक संवेदनायें। विश्वास करता हूं कि स्थानीय प्रशासन और आपदा प्रबंधन विभाग प्रभावित लोगों और उनके परिजनों को बचाव व राहत उपलब्ध करा रहे हैं।— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) August 9, 2020