Police Arrest 2 in Connection to Leo Grand Hotel Tragedy

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reports that they have detained two individuals in connection to the Batumi Leo Grand Hotel fire, which left 11 people dead in November 2017.

According to the MIA, following a 4-month investigation, it was assessed that Leo Grand was functioning without observing the correct safety norms.

“In particular, the building was not equipped with an automatic fire and alarm system and did not have the right ventilation system, which would have enabled the evacuation of people from the building during the incident,” the ministry stated.

“The investigation revealed that the technical manager of Leogrand Hotel and the person responsible for technical storage were obliged to ensure fire-safety standards at Leogrand Hotel,” the MIA added.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office also released a statement, which reads that easily inflammable material, which had been placed in the technical storage room, helped intensify the blaze that broke out in the room and caused strong smoke in the building at around 8pm on November 24.

The investigation was launched under Article 243 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, entailing a breach of fire and safety norms.

The Government of Georgia declared November 27 as a Day of Mourning for the victims of the November 24 tragedy.

11 people were killed in the fire, including 10 Georgians and 1 citizen of the Republic of Iran. 21 people were injured, including a firefighter, 4 Turkish citizens and 1 Israeli.

The November 24 Leo Grand blaze is one of the most tragic fires in Georgia in recent years. The police and the firefighters rescued more than 100 people during the incident.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs calls on all public and private institutions to observe fire safety norms in order to protect people's lives and health.

By Thea Morrison

Related story:

Fire at Batumi Hotel Kills 11, Injures over 20

26 March 2018 11:04