The Governorpet police, investigating the fire accident in a private COVID care centre, run by Ramesh Hospitals, arrested three of their staff on Monday, holding them responsible for the incident.

The police arrested Ramesh Hospitals general manager Kurapathi Sudarshan, chief operating officer Kodali Rajagopal Rao and COVID care centre coordinating manager Pallabothu Venkatesh. The arrested would be produced in the court and the role of other accused is being probed, police said.

The inquiry committee appointed by Krishna District Collector A.Md. Imtiaz to probe into the reasons for the accident at Hotel Swarna Palace, visited the hotel-cum-private COVID care centre on Monday.

The committee comprising Joint Collector (Development) L. Siva Sankar, Vijayawada Sub-Collector H.M. Dhyana Chandra, Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) Chief Medical and Health Officer G. Geetha Bai, VMC Regional Fire Officer (RFO) T. Uday Kumar and Deputy Electrical Inspector, CPDCL, launched an investigation.

Ten persons were killed and 20 suffered injuries when fire broke out in the private COVID care centre, run by Ramesh Hospitals in the hotel, on Sunday.

Apart from lapses in fire safety in the COVID care centre, the committee would inquire into different aspects including the safety norms, admission of patients, discharge, fee collected from the patients, lease agreement between the hospitals and the hotel management and other issues.

The committee visited the COVID care centre and inquired on whether COVID protocol was being followed or not and fire and other safety norms, said Mr. Siva Sankar.

The police and fire personnel visited the hotel on Monday and conducted ‘Panchanama’. They collected samples from the spot, which would be sent to the laboratory. The committee will submit report in 48 hours on its findings, the committee members said.

Police reportedly seized some important documents, hard discs and other equipment from the private COVID care centre.

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