Deadly fire at coronavirus facility in south India

Police said an electrical short-circuit appeared to be the cause of the fire. [Idrees Mohammed/Reuters]

At least 11 coronavirus patients were killed early on Sunday by a fire at a southern Indian hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility, officials said, in the second such incident this month.

The blaze at Hotel Swarna Palace in the city of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh state, broke out at 5am local time (23:30 GMT Saturday).

Rescue teams evacuated those trapped in the multi-storey building, according to senior police officer Srinivasulu, who uses only one name.

At least 22 people had been brought to hospitals, he said.

The fire had been brought under control, but smoke was still billowing from the building, he said, adding that an electrical short-circuit appeared to be the cause of the fire.

On Thursday, eight people were killed in a fire in the intensive care unit of a private COVID-19-designated hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat state.

Fires are common in buildings in India because of poor safety standards with inadequate fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and fire alarm systems.

With 64,399 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, India saw its highest single-day tally and more than 60,000 cases for a third consecutive day.

The country recorded an excess of 550,000 infections in 10 days. The total number of cases in the country has gone past 2.1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

News agencies

News Source : Al Jazeera English

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