10 killed in Vijaywada coronavirus centre fire
August 10 2020 12:49 AM
Vijaywada coronavirus centre fire
Rescue workers look for survivors after a fire broke out in a hotel that was being used as a coronavirus disease facility in Vijayawada yesterday.


At least 10 people died when a huge fire broke out at a Covid-19 treatment and quarantine centre in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh early yesterday, officials said.
Emergency crews rescued up to 20 patients and medical staff from the centre housed in a hotel and took them to hospital, Police Commissioner B Srinivasulu told journalists at the scene.
Initial reports suggest the fire was caused by a short circuit in the centre, police and fire officials said.
Television footage showed rescuers wearing face masks and full body suits taking survivors out of the blackened building on trolleys.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter he felt “anguished” and had discussed the situation with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Reddy said the state would pay each of the victim’s families Rs5mn.
“Several people who were trapped and injured have been rescued and moved to a government hospital,” said Lakshmi, a constable at the police control room.
The state government has set up a committee to inquire into the incident, Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Alla Nani said.
The minister said the fire broke out at 4.45am, and the fire station received the first call at 5.09am.
Panic-stricken inmates began screaming for help and a few staff members leapt off from the first floor, suffering injuries.
There were around 50 people in the building at the time of the tragedy, of whom 31 were Covid-19 patients.
The others were medical and support staff.
State Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas, who represents Vijayawada in the state assembly, visited the site and supervised rescue operations.
The minister said the inquiry will look into whether it was an accident or failure on part of the hospital management.
Initial investigations point to several violations, the minister said.
The central government promised all possible support to Andhra Pradesh.
“Deeply anguished by the news of the tragic fire accident at a Covid-19 facility in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The Centre assures all possible support to the state government. My condolences are with the affected families in this time of grief. Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured,” federal Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
Yesterday’s fire is the latest in a series of accidents to strike Andhra Pradesh in the last few months.
In May, a gas leak in Visakhapatnam at a plant operated by LG Polymers left 12 people dead.
Recently, 12 people died after drinking sanitisers due to alcohol addiction.
Last week, eight Covid-19 patients died in a fire that broke out in the intensive care ward of a private hospital in Ahmedabad.

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