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Ten coronavirus patients were killed in a huge fire that broke out at a hotel which was being used as a COVID-19 facility in Andhra Pradesh's Vijaywada early this morning. 

There were reportedly 30 Covid patients at hotel Swarna Palace at the time of the accident. The fire is suspected to have started on ground floor and spread to first and second floor, officials said. The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered an enquiry into the accident.

Around 50 persons, including 30 coronavirus patients, were reported to be present at the Covid treatment facility set up at Hotel Swarna Palace when the tragedy struck.

City Police Commissioner Srinivasa Rao said that the fire broke out around 5 am.

According to initial information, suffocation due to smoke emanating from the fire is said to have caused most casualties.

Firefighters were rushed to the spot who rescued the treatment centre’s inmates with the help of ladders and rushed them to nearby hospitals in 15 ambulances.

Preliminary investigation found that a short circuit was the likely cause of the fire that started on the ground floor of the building. It later spread to the first floor that had been converted into a Covid care centre.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock and sorrow over the incident and ordered an inquiry.

State Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas, who represents Vijayawada West Assembly constituency, visited the spot 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.
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