Rescue workers look for survivors after a fire broke out in a hotel that was being used as a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) facility in Vijayawada, in Andhra Pradesh, India, August 9, 2020. Fire engines were immediately rushed to the spot. As per the preliminary understanding of the officials, electric short circuit from a cable of a computer in the reception caused the fire.
Vijayawada Police Commissioner B Srinivasulu told BBC News Telugu that more than 30 people were at the hotel and the death toll was likely to increase. More than 43,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is closely monitoring the situation.
Last week, eight Covid-19 patients died in a fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in India's western city of Ahmedabad. Fires initially broke out on the ground and first floors. A fire accident has happened in Hotel Swarna Palace which was turned into a COVID Care Center.
State Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas, who represents Vijayawada West Assembly constituency, visited the spot and supervised rescue operations.
An FIR was lodged against the hospital and hotel managements for negligence.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of the lives in the fire mishap and spoke to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy over the phone and enquired about the accident. "My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones", he tweeted. At present, Andhra Pradesh has reported 2,14,145 COVID-19 cases, of which 85,486 are active. I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible. The Chief Minister also instructed officials to conduct an inquiry into the accident. The Prime Minister extended all the possible help and assured support to the families of the victims.
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