Vijayawada: At least nine COVID-19 patients were killed while three grievously injured when a fire broke out in a COVID-19 Care Centre here in the city on Sunday.
Senior official, while furnishing details, said the patients who were recused have been shifted a private hospital. He informed that the condition of three patients is said to be very critical.
Official sources said that a corporate hospital took the hotel on hire basis and set up COVID-19 Care Centre in the hotel. About 30 Coronavirus patients were undergoing treatment in the hotel while 10 hospital staffers were working at the time of the mishap.
Commissioner of police B Srinivasulu told media electrical short circuit was suspected to be the reach for the fire accident. He said that two panic-stricken persons jumped from the first floor. However, they escaped with injuries. The CP said that an electrical short circuit was the reason for flames erupting in the hotel. The flames were put out within 25 minutes, he said.
Official sources said that flames erupted in the first floor of the hotel and spread to the ground floor also. Thick smoke engulfed the two blocks within minutes. Since the hotel has only one exit the patients could not escape from their rooms. The NDRP and fire prevention personal used a ladder rescue the patients. Five fire tenders pressed into service to put out flames.
Suffocation due to thick smoke was suspected to be the reason for the death of patients, official sources. Minister for Endowment Vellampalliu Srinivas visited the hotel and enquired about the condition of patients with the officials.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia to the bereaved families.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s office said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned the Chief Minister.
(With Agency Inputs)