Ukraine: Fire in Odessa hotel kills 8


A fire in a hotel in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa has killed eight people and left 10 people hospitalized, city police said on Saturday.

The fire broke out at 1:34 a.m. local time (2234 UTC) spread about 1,000 square meters (10,000 square feet) of the Tokyo Star hotel near Odessa’s main train station, according to a police statement. Some 65 firefighters and 13 emergency vehicles put out the blaze three hours later.

Odessa authorities said that around 150 people were evacuated from the hotel. They did not say the state of the 10 people who were hospitalized, though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on his Facebook page that four were in critical condition.

The causes of the fire are still being established. Police have opened a criminal investigation into possible breaches to fire safety regulations.

“We lost eight lives overnight,” Zelenskiy said on Facebook. “And this is not due to war and shelling. It is because of criminal negligence, neglect of elementary standards and neglect towards human life.”

Zelenskiy also said he would “personally make sure” that those responsible are punished “in accordance with the norms of the law.”

dv/rc (AFP, AP)

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