11 people have been killed and 15 are injured in a fire in the five-star Leogrand hotel in Batumi on the Black Sea. The fire started at around 20:00 in the evening of November 24.
The health condition of those who have been injured is stable and their lives are not in danger, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says.
Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia and deputy Health Minister Zaza Sopromadze went to the scene in Batumi in the night.
Both Georgian and foreign citizens were among the victims of the fire, Interior Minister Gakharia said.
There has not been an official statement yet about the cause of the fire.
The hotel has 180 rooms, a spa area, swimming pool, sauna, restaurant, and bar. According to eyewitnesses, the fire started at the spa; other eyewitnesses say the fire started at the casino.
13 firetrucks and approximately 100 firefighters were mobilized at the scene. The fire was extinguished at around 02:00 am on November 25. The fire lasted for approximately four hours.
“We found out that the hotel did not have a fire escape when we were trying to evacuate people,” Interior Minister Gakharia said.
The fire started on the 4th-5th floor and special equipment was needed to evacuate people from the 7th floor, Gakharia added.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has started an investigation.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili flew to Batumi instead of Tbilisi late at night on November 24 from Brussels, where he was attending the Eastern Partnership Summit.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili wrote on his Facebook page that he is “alarmed by the tragedy in Batumi” and sent condolences to the families of the victims and thanked the firefighters for their work.
The Leogrand Hotel opened in June 2015. 40 million USD was invested in its development.