11 killed in Georgia hotel fire

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"Twelve people died of carbon monoxide intoxication" at the 22-storey Leogrand hotel, the regional health minister Zaal Mikeladze told journalists, AFP reported. All 20 participants escaped unhurt using a fire escape ladder, officials said.

The cause of the blaze, which took hours to extinguish, is not clear.

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.

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There were three Turks and an Israeli among the wounded, Batumi University Hospital spokesperson said.

Hundreds of people, including guests and local staff, were evacuated as 13 fire tenders and over 100 firefighters fought the flames.

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

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

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

A fire broke out at Leogrand Hotel in Batumi last evening.

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