12 dead in hotel fire — Georgia

Nov 26, 2017, 01:05
12 dead in hotel fire — Georgia

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other government officials arrived in Batumi at about midnight.

A total of 21 others, including three fire fighters, were injured in the blaze at the 22-storey Leogrand hotel and casino in Batumi.

Earlier, officials said 12 people had died.

Formal identification of the victims was under way, but an Interior Ministry statement said one Iranian and 10 Georgians were killed in the blaze.

Five Turkish nationals and an Israeli were among those injured, regional health minister Zaal Mikeladze said.

"Ten people were hospitalized, mostly with smoke inhalation injuries".

He stressed that the investigation will reveal the causes of the fire and all the responsible persons will be punished according to the law.

Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia told journalists that an investigation had been launched into the "breach of fire safety norms" in the hotel which reportedly lacked a fire escape staircase.

"Sixteen fire engines and 100 firefighters were sent".

Survivors told Doğan News Agency (DHA) that the fire erupted in the hotel's boiler room after an explosion, and quickly spread to upper floors.

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