Exclusive: Swarna Palace hotel has no NOC for COVID treatment: Fire officials

By Sumit Jha  Published on  9 Aug 2020 4:50 AM GMT
Exclusive: Swarna Palace hotel has no NOC for COVID treatment: Fire officials

Vijayawada: Atleast ten patients were feared killed when a fire broke out at a private COVID-19 care centre, Swarna Palace Hotel, on Eluru Road in Vijayawada in the early hours of Sunday. The fire, which broke out at 4.30 am on the first floor of the multi-storied hotel, quickly spread to the second floor too. A private hospital, Ramesh Hospital, had a tie-up with the Swarna Palace Hotel to run a COVID care centre.

The Krishna District Fire officer M Sreenivas Reddy told NewsMeter, that Swarna Palace hotel did not seek No-Objection-Certificate from the fire department to setup COVID facility. Although this comes under municipal purview but the fire department was not involved in it.

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He further added, "Earlier in 2017-18, the fire department served notice to hospital as a result of bad maintenance. Also,The fire department has inspected the Swarna Place Hotel once in 2019 and directed certain measures.

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The fire broke out at around 4:30. “It spread to the reception where the electrical connections were there, from there the fire went up to the first and second floor where these patients were there sleeping,” Sreenivas Reddy, added.

Those who were in the third and fourth floor we rescued. The officer also told NewMeter that the Primary evidence shows that due to short circuit, Fire department without protective gear reached to the patients on the Third and Fourth floor and saved them. The fire was controlled in Half an hour but the damage was already done before it got controlled.

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Speaking to Newsmeter, the DGP said, "Short circuit in the hotel's office area led to the fire which soon spread to the COVID treatment wards. The hotel is owned by Muttavarapu Srinivas Rao, who leased the premises to Dr Ramesh, a cardiologist for COVID treatment. Around 25 COVID patients were being treated at the Swarana Palace".

The DGP further added, "Most patients died due to asphyxia, while few others have suffered burns. The casualties stand at 9, others have been shifted out".

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