Ten people have died after a fire broke out at private hotel that was being used as a makeshift Covid-19 facility in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh on Sunday morning, PTI reported. Twenty people have been rescued, according to NDTV.
The facility had about 30 patients and 10 hospital workers. Twenty patients were moved to other hospitals. According to NDTV, two people jumped off the building to save themselves.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Imtiaz told ANI that the fire was apparently caused by a short circuit. “The incident took place around 5 am,” he said. “Around 22 patients are being treated in hospital.”
Andhra Pradesh Fire Safety Director Jairam Naik said that the hotel violated certain safety rules. “It [the hotel] will face action as investigation has been initiated,” he said according to PTI.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has ordered an inquiry and told authorities to ensure the patients receive proper medical treatment, The Indian Express reported. He also announced financial aid of Rs 50 lakh each to the families of people killed in the fire, according to ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was deeply anguished by the deaths in the fire. “My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones,” he tweeted. “I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible. Discussed the prevailing situation with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured all possible support.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also assured help to the Andhra Pradesh government. “My condolences are with the affected families in this time of grief,” he tweeted. “Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured.”
President Ram Nath Kovind also mourned the deaths. “Struck with grief after hearing tragic news about COVID-19 care centre in Vijayawada where an accidental fire caused loss of lives,” he tweeted. “My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. I wish speedy recovery for the injured.”
Last week, eight patients at a coronavirus hospital in Ahmedabad died after a fire broke out there. Around 40 patients were rescued from Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, and shifted to a civic hospital in the city.