11 people dead in hotel fire in Batumi

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The fire erupted late on November 24 at the 22-storey Leogrand Hotel, where participants in the Miss Georgia 2017 beauty pageant were having dinner.

The hotel was set to host the Miss Georgia beauty contest tomorrow (Sunday) and all twenty contestants who were staying at the hotel managed to escape unharmed.

Most of the guests being treated for injuries are said to be Turkish and Israeli. All 20 participants escaped unhurt using a fire escape ladder, officials said.

The cause of fire was not immediately clear but authorities blamed fire regulations for the probable accident.

Another 21 people required hospitalization, the ministry said.

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Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other government officials arrived in Batumi at about midnight.

Formal identification of the victims was under way, but an Interior Ministry statement said one Iranian and 10 Georgians were killed in the blaze.

More than 100 people were evacuated from the hotel by emergency services.

"The main stairs of the hotel were blocked due to the fire and the hotel visitors were stuck on the seventh floor".

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