At least 9 dead after fire breaks out at Covid facility hotel in AP’s Vijayawada
A major fire broke out at a hotel in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada, killing at least nine people and trapping several others. The hotel - Swarna Palace - was being used as a Covid-19 facility. It was being used as a Covid care centre by Ramesh Hospitals. There were about 30 patients and 10 medical staff at the time of accident. Vijayawada police commissioner B Srinivasulu said that the control room was informed at around 5.15 am about the fire breaking out in the hotel. “We rushed tenders immediately and the fire was brought under the control now,” he said. About 17 patients were brought out safely using ladders. Two staff members jumped from hotel’s second and third floors after the fire. So far, 9 bodies have been brought out and they were found to have died of suffocation. The rescue operations were underway till the reports last came in. Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the accident. Reddy has instructed officials to conduct an inquiry into the accident. He has also announced an ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh to each of the families of those killed in the hotel fire. State Governor Biswabhushan Harichandan expressed his condolences to the bereaved families.