At least 1 injured in lakeside hotel fire in Myanmar's Yangon

Firefighters remove a body from the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel

The Myanmar authorities are urgently investigating the cause of Thursday's huge fire that devastated a lakeside hotel in Yangon run by the Htoo Group of Companies, China's Xinhua news agency reported U Htay Lwin, the company's managing director as saying.

The incident happened at 3 am in the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, a popular destination among tourists and high-profile travellers.

Photos and video posted online show the spectacular blaze racing through the traditional Burmese-style building before dawn.

Smoke was still rising from the remains of the lakeside hotel hours after daybreak and dozens of firefighters were at the site. Investigations are now going on to find out the cause of the blaze.

"The embers floating through the sky looked like hellish snowflakes", he said.

"We don't know why the fire started". Exploding gas cylinders hastened its spread, he said.

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There were no fatalities and only one Chinese citizen was injured, said Yangon police colonel Myint Htwe. Guests have been moved to other hotels in Yangon.

Soon after the fire, emergency forces were alerted, and they, along with the hotel security personell, quickly evacuated the hotel, which helped to avoid further casualties.

"The staff were so helpful", she said.

The oldest parts of the Kandawgyi hotel date to the 1930s when British army officers used the site as rowing club.

The hotel is owned by Htoo Group, chaired by business tycoon Tay Za, who until previous year was on the list of United States sanctions for his close links to Myanmar's former military regime.


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