At least nine people were killed on Sunday in a fire that broke out at a hotel turned COVID-19 care centre at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

Several others have also sustained injuries, some of them seriously.

The fire broke out in the ground and first floors of the building, according to officials.

Inmates of the COVID-19 care centre began screaming and shouting following emanation of thick smoke.

A few panicked persons jumped from the first floor of the building.

Fire tenders rushed to the spot and managed to bring the blaze under control.

Around 40 people, including 30 COVID-19 patients, were said to be in the centre when the mishap took place.

The rescued patients have been shifted to other COVID care centres nearby.

Meanwhile, state chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered an inquiry into the incident.

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