7 dead as fire erupts at COVID-19 facility in Vijayawada
Early Sunday morning, a massive fire broke out at a hotel in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, which was being used as a COVID care facility. According to the latest reports, seven people have lost their lives in the blaze while 30 have been rescued. The Hotel Swarna Palace was housing patients who were mildly symptomatic along with those who did not require hospitalization.
According to The News Minute, the entire lobby of the hotel has been destroyed in the accident. Krishna District Fire Officer Sreenivasa Reddy told the publication that the facility housed 30 COVID-19 patients and five to 10 staff members. The patients have been moved to Ramesh Hospital, which was operating the facility at the hotel. The cause of the fire remains unknown, Reddy said.
The fire, which reportedly broke out near the first and the second floor of the hotel, has been extinguished. Andhra Pradesh Fire service personnel used ladders to evacuate some of those stuck inside the hotel, while the others were rescued after the flames had been doused. Visuals from the scene showed people standing near the balcony and asking authorities to help them.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered an in-depth probe into the incident. He has also directed authorities to ensure better medical services for the victims. Although the cause of the fire is yet to be established, early reports say that a short circuit seems to have triggered the blaze. An investigation is underway.
Earlier this week, a fire had erupted at a private hospital being used as a COVID-19 facility in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Eight patients, including five men and three women, who were being treated at the Intensive Care Unit at the Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura area, were killed in the fire. An electrical short circuit is said to be the cause, according to a primary investigation.