At least nine 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.
Fire tenders rushed to the spot managed to bring the blaze under control.
The fire broke out in the ground and first floors of the building. Inmates of the Covid-19 care centre began screaming and shouting following emanation of thick smoke.
A few panicked persons jumped from the first floor of the building.
City commissioner of police Srinivasa Rao said that the condition of two persons is serious. Around 40 people, including 30 Covid-19 patients, were said to be in the centre when the mishap occurred. The rescued patients have been shifted to other covid care centres nearby.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed anguish at the mishap and ordered an inquiry into the incident.