Nine people are dead and several more have been injured in a major fire at a makeshift coronavirus facility in Andhra Pradesh's Vijaywada on Sunday. While many patients panicked, rushed and jumped from the terrace as the flames engulfed the building's upper floors, two were asphyxiated due to thick fumes, according to the initial reports.
#AndhraPradesh: Fire accident in a Hotel in Vijayawada today, where atleast 3 feared said to be dead. The accident has been handled by the fire and police departments on time. pic.twitter.com/JqapLKkAY8— Ranjan Mistry (@mistryofficial) August 9, 2020
... Another Incident .. Lockdown ? .... Still 2020 ? Fire at #Vijayawada #COVID19 Centre this morning 7 people died and many injured #StaySafeStayHealthy #AndhraPradesh @AndhraPradeshCM pic.twitter.com/e078XjFJW3— Abdur Rahman (@arrahmaan) August 9, 2020
9 dead and 20 rescued. @APPOLICE100 chief Damodar Goutam Sawang visited the accident site. CM #YSJagan ordered an inquiry. PM Modi condole deaths. #AndhraPradesh #Vijayawada pic.twitter.com/DDTvE0f9W4— Aashish (@Ashi_IndiaToday) August 9, 2020
Police have said a short circuit in an air-conditioner on the ground floor led to the fire in the hotel, which was leased by a private hospital to accomodate coronavirus patients. A district-level official has said that surviving patients have been moved to a nearby government hospital.
Expressing shock over the incident, state chief Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced an ex-gratia of $6,670 (Rs 500,000) to the kin of the deceased and ordered an in-depth probe into the mishap. He has also directed authorities to take steps to ensure better medical services to the victims of the accident.
Anguished at the fire incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have extended their condolences regarding the deadly fire incident.
Anguished by the fire at a Covid Centre in Vijayawada. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. I pray that the injured recover as soon as possible. Discussed the prevailing situation with AP CM @ysjagan Ji and assured all possible support.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2020
Deeply anguished by the news of tragic fire accident at a COVID-19 facility in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Centre assures all possible support to the state govt. My condolences are with the affected families in this time of grief. Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 9, 2020
The incident has come after eight people died in a fire at a private hospital in Ahmedabad, in Modi's home state Gujarat. There were 49 patients in the 50-bed Shrey Hospital; eight were in the ICU located on the fourth floor, which was completely destroyed in the blaze.