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3 arrested in connection with Vijayawada COVID facility fire that claimed 10 lives

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2020 09:22 IST

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], Aug 11 (ANI): Three officials of the Ramesh Hospital in Vijayawada were arrested on Monday for neglecting the need of electrical repairs which could have averted the fire accident that killed as many as 10 people on August 9, said the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
The three officials include the hospital's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dr Kodali Raja Gopala Rao, Dr Kurapati Sudarshan, and Pallabothu Venkatesh. The three officials are directly responsible for ensuring that the safety of patients being treated at the facility is taken care of, as per the release.
"A committee led by Joint Collector L. Siva Shankar is responsible for executing an administrative enquiry into the accident to determine whether the accident or the damage caused by the same could be evaded if the authorities had been more diligent. The committee has been asked to submit a report within 48 hours," read the release.

While investigating the accident and all relevant angles concerning the same, the incident commander and Tahsildar of Vijayawada Central unearthed some major lapses from the hospital management's end.
"It appears that Hotel Swarna Palace and Ramesh Hospitals had knowledge of that there were electrical defects in the lodge, and as rectification of defects involved huge amounts, avoided the repairs," said the Tahsildar in his complaint.
"Knowing the fact that if the defects were not rectified, there is a possibility of a shortage of electricity, they opened the COVID-19 centre at the Swarna hotel. The incident occurred because of the Hotel and Hospital managements not taking the necessary precautions and preventive measures, resulting in the death of 10 citizens," it added.
The local police have booked a case against the managements of Swarna Hotel and Ramesh Hospitals under sections 304 (II), 308 r/w 34 of IPC, based on the complaint of the Tahsildar.
At least 10 people died in the fire that broke out at a COVID-19 facility in Vijayawada on August 9. K Naresh, Station Fire Officer stated that out of the 10 people who died in the incident, nine died due to suffocation while one woman succumbed to burn injuries. (ANI)