Fire Breaks Out At Vijaywada Hotel Being Used As COVID-19 Facility, At Least 7 Dead
At least 7 people died in a fire that broke out in a hotel-turned-Covid-19 care centre by a private hospital in Vijayawada at around 5 AM on Sunday. Around 30 patients were being treated when it happened, as per a TOI report. Short circuit in the electrical connection is believed to be the cause according to initial reports.?
Swarna Palace hotel located on Eluru Road was taken on lease by Ramesh Hospital to treat Covid-19 patients. Around 10 or so para medical staff members were assisting when the fire occurred. Most deaths are due to suffocation from smoke, said officials. As Covid-19 patients were already suffering with respiratory problems, and thick smoke further aggravated their conditions. Many patients were heard screaming for help from the windows of hotel rooms.?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep shock at the incident, and assured the state administration of all support.?
According to the Vijayawada city police commissioner B Srinivasulu, the fire first broke out on the ground floor near the reception area and rapidly spread to the first floor. Images captured by the bystanders also showed huge fire at the reception area.?
Srinivasulu said that they have rescued about 30 people and the fire was brought under control within 25 minutes. He said the control room received an SOS at around 5:15 am. The fire and quick response teams rushed to the spot and started the rescue operation, he said. The patients were brought out using ladders as the stair cases were engulfed in fire and there was no external fire exit in the building.?
Fire personnel broke open the windows to rescue the victims. The Covid-19 patients were rushed to other hospitals in special ambulances. The chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy expressed shock over the incident and directed the officials to extend all possible help to the victims. He ordered a probe into the incident and asked the officials to submit a report.?
Krishna district collector A Md Imtiaz and endowments minister Vellampalli Srinivas visited the spot and took stock of the rescue operation.