At least 11 people died after a fire broke out in a hotel turned into Covid-19 care centre by a private hospital at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh at around 5:00 am on Sunday.
About 50 Covid-19 patients were being treated at the time of the incident.
Electric short circuit is said to be the cause of fire according to preliminary reports.
Swarna Palace hotel situated on Eluru Road was taken on lease by Ramesh Hospital to treat Covid-19 patients.
About 50 patients were admitted in the Swarna Palace in last two weeks by the hospital. Some 10 paramedical staff were assisting them at the time of the incident.
Most of the deaths have taken place due to suffocation from smoke, according to 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.
Andhra Pradesh’s chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the accident and enquired about it cause, his office said.
He has also directed officials to take up the rescue measures and admit the injured in nearby hospitals.
Earlier on Thursday, eight people were killed in a fire in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a private Covid-19 designated hospital in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad. Police had said the fire broke out due to a short circuit on the fourth floor of the hospital.
Source: Times of India, Hindustan Times
BDST: 1255 HRS, AUG 09, 2020