A massive fire in a hotel in Vijaywada has resulted in the death of 11 persons and left 30 others injured. The hotel was leased by a Vijaywada-based private hospital for treating coronavirus infected patients.
The incident took place on Sunday morning. Several fire tenders rushed to the site to douse the flames. Those rescued from the facility have been shifted to a nearby hospital.
Vijaywada police commissioner B Srinivaslu said the fire broke out at around 5.09 am and was controlled with 30 minutes.
Case registered against hotel management
The district administration has registered a case against the hotel management. Prima facie, it seems that the fire broke out because of a short circuit, the state government said.
Fire safety director Jairam Naik said the hotel was leased by a private hospital and used as a coronavirus treatment centre. He said the hotel has violated safety rules imposed by the government on such commercial establishments.
Private hospital also booked
The private hospital that has taken the hotel on a lease has been also booked by the authorities. The fire department has also clarified that the hospital management did not procure a no-objection certificate. The department said a NOC was mandatory before converting the hotel into a coronavirus treatment centre. But, the hospital or the hotel did not approach the authorities for the same.
Hotel took care of VIPs
The hotel, sources said, used to cater to VIP patients as well, who had contracted the novel coronavirus.
They claimed that the hotel kept operating as a COVID-19 treatment facility sans the required permissions. However, the officials realised the violation of rules only after the untoward incident.
PM Modi offers condolences
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences to the families of the deceased. He said he has discussed the prevailing situation with Andhra Pradesh 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,” the PM tweeted.
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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2020
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