Fire at Vijayawada COVID centre claims 8, PM condoles

Vijaywada, Aug 9:

A major fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday morning at Hotel Swarna Palace in Vijayawada, which had been converted into a facility for COVID-19 patients, after it was leased by a private hospital. While initial reports said that there were three casualities, at least eight people are feared dead in the mishap besides several others, who were injured, according to authorities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish at the death of patients in a fire incident at a COVID facility in Andhra Pradesh”s Vijaywada .He said he discussed the incident with state chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured all possible help.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief and spoke to concerned officials to take up rescue measures and also instructed officials to conduct an enquiry over the accident.

Visuals of the incident show people stuck in the upper floors of the building, even as fire engines battled flames which had broken out near the first and second floor of the hotel. Many of them were standing near their balcony and signalling to authorities to help them.

Krishna District Fire Officer said, “Around eight to 10 people are feared dead. There were 30 patients iat the centre. The rest have been rescued and sent to Ramesh Hospital. They were all COVID-19 patients admitted to the facility being overseen by Ramesh Hospital. There may have been five to 10 staff members. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

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