Fire in hotel on Georgia's Black Sea coast kills 11

Eleven people have died and 19 others injured after a hotel caught fire in Georgia's Black Sea coast resort city of Batumi, about 360 kilometres from the capital Tbilisi.

"Twelve people died of carbon monoxide intoxication" at the 22-storey Leogrand hotel, the regional health minister Zaal Mikeladze told journalists, AFP reported. The cause of the blaze, which took hours to extinguish, was not clear.

Three Turks and an Israeli were being treated at the Batumi University clinic, spokesman Kakha Chikhradze told Palitra News TV.

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According to an eyewitness, the accident occurred when all the tourists got together on one side, causing the boat to tilt. Officials said 41 passengers, including 31 members of Ongole Wakers Club, were on the boat when it overturned.

Officials on Saturday (Nov 25) revised down the death toll after initially putting it at 12 people. "They all are in a stable condition", he added.

The Miss Georgia 2017 final was postponed for one week due to the tragic events.

Local reports suggested the blaze may have begun in the hotel's spa before spreading.

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Ten of those killed were Georgians, a police statement said, and the other was a citizen of Iran.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who was returning to Georgia from Brussels, landed in Batumi and visited the scene.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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  • Ryan Wade