Fire kills 7 at COVID facility in southern India

A fire breaks out at a COVID care centre in Vijayawada image shows thick smoke coming from the building

10 killed as fire engulfs Vijaywada hotel being used as Covid-19 centre

At least 10 COVID-19 patients were killed and an nearly a similar number of people were injured after a major fire erupted at Swarna Palace, a hotel-turned-coronavirus COVID-19 facility, in Vijayawada on Sunday morning.

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.

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has already announced that the victims' relatives will receive compensation of five million rupees (£51,000).

The patients have been shifted to other Covid Care Centres in the city and aid activities are in full swing at Swarna Palace. "40 patients & 10 medical staff were at the hotel at the time of the incident", Andhra Pradesh Home Minister said.

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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. "He directed the concerned officials to take up the rescue measures and admit the injured in nearby hospitals", news agency ANI reported.

The hotel leased by a private hospital to treat COVID-19 patients had "violated" safety rules, according to Fire Safety Director Jairam Naik. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu also expressed condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones. It later spread to the first floor that had been converted into a Covid care centre. District Collector AMD Imtiaz said preliminary investigation suggested that a short circuit could be the cause of the fire. "I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible", the prime minister tweeted. "Prayers for the families of the bereaved and safety of others", he said. "Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured", ANI quoted him as saying.

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