Ten people were killed in a major fire caused by a short circuit at a hotel which was being used as a coronavirus facility in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada in the early hours of Sunday. A private hospital had leased Hotel Swarna Palace in Vijayawada to keep infected Covid patients.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he discussed the situation with Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. “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,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.
Expressing shock over the incident, Reddy announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the kin of the deceased and ordered an in-depth probe into the mishap. He also directed authorities to take steps to ensure better medical services to the victims of the accident.
A short circuit in an air-conditioner on the ground floor is what led to the fire in the hotel, police said. Read in Tamil here.
At least seven patients panicked and jumped from the terrace as the flames spread to the upper floors. Two others died due to asphyxiation as thick fumes enveloped the hotel.
District Collector Imtiaz Ahmed said said the remaining patients have been shifted to nearby government hospitals.
The incident comes days after eight people were killed in a fire at a private hospital in Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad. There were 49 patients in the 50-bed Shrey Hospital at the time, eight of them in the ICU, located on the fourth floor, which was completely charred.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines