Seven people were killed in a huge fire that broke out at a hotel which was being used as a COVID-19 facility in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijaywada early this morning. There were reportedly 30 Covid patients at the hotel facility at the time of the accident.
The fire broke out at 5 am, officials said, adding that it was brought under control within 30 minutes. The fire had led to panic among the patients admitted in the facility; two people had reportedly jumped off the building to save their lives, as per officials.
The relative of one of them said the person had been shifted just two days ago from the hospital to the hotel facility for quarantine. He has reportedly suffered ankle fracture.
Twenty people have been rescued from the hotel so far, police said, adding that a few more are feared trapped inside the building.
“The incident took place around 5 am. Around 22 patients are being treated in hospital. We are evacuating the entire building. The reason of fire appears to be a short circuit, as per the preliminary report, but we will have to ascertain this,” said Krishna District Collector Mohammad Imtiaz.
Hotel Swarna Palace had been taken on lease by Ramesh hospitals to house Covid patients.
“15-20 people have been injured in the incident. They have been rushed to hospital. 2-3 of them are critical,” a senior police officer
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths in the fire incident and said that he has assured all possible support to the chief minister.
“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,” PM Modi tweeted.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also expressed grief over the incident.
This the second fire incident at a COVID-19 facility in the country this month.
On Thursday, eight coronavirus patients died in a huge fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.
“A staffer whose PPE caught fire ran out of the ward to douse it but the fire spread rapidly to the whole ward,” a fire officer was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
About 45 patients were admitted to the 50-bed hospital at the time of accident.
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Andhra Pradesh reported 10,080 fresh infections or the fourth straight day on Saturday, taking the overall tally to 2,17,040.
The southern state has 85,486 active cases after 1,29,615 coronavirus positive persons got cured, including 9,151 in the last 24 hours, and 1,939 Covid-19-related deaths, according state health officials.