Twelve Dead in Georgia Hotel Fire, Say Officials

Twelve Dead in Georgia Hotel Fire, Say Officials

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

The cause of fire was not immediately clear but authorities blamed fire regulations for the probable accident. However, Russian TASS news agency reported that all 20 participants escaped unhurt using a fire escape ladder. "They are being identified", the ministry said, adding that more than 100 people, including guests and employees, had been evacuated from the burning building.

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Georgian Interior Ministry announced that the victims were 10 Georgian nationals and an Iranian man.

The hotel has been scheduled to be a venue for the Miss Georgia beauty contest on Sunday.

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Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the government is mourning the tragedy alongside other citizens.

In a later post he offered his condolences the families and promised an investigation to find the fire's causes.

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Fire personnel were forced to quickly deploy lifting platforms to save people who were stuck above the point the blaze started.

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