Death toll from Kandawgyi Palace Hotel fire rises to 3 as firefighter succumbs to injuries

Firefighter Kyaw Swa Lin. Photo: Phyo Ko Ko Zaw / Facebook
Firefighter Kyaw Swa Lin. Photo: Phyo Ko Ko Zaw / Facebook

A firefighter who was injured while trying to extinguish the fire that gutted Yangon’s Kandawgyi Palace Hotel last year died from his wounds earlier this week, the Fire Services Department has announced, bringing the total death toll from the fire to three.

Shwepyitha Township firefighter Kyaw Swa Lin sustained head injuries while fighting the hotel fire in the early morning of Oct. 19. He has spent the last three months receiving treatment in the neurology department of Yangon General Hospital.

He died on Sunday evening and was buried at Yayway Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon.

The Kandawgyi Palace Hotel was owned by military-affiliated tycoon Tay Za before it was almost completely destroyed by the fire, causing damage estimated at K37 billion (US$27 million). Two other people were killed in the blaze, including one Japanese guest.

The building was insured for at least K692 million (US$521,000) by Myanma Insurance, and it also had insurance for guests from a foreign insurance company.

Guests have reported that no alarms sounded as the fire spread throughout the building, where 141 guests were staying, and a patron of the Clubhouse nightclub, which is on the hotel grounds, told Coconuts Yangon that hotel staff ignored reports of a fire 45 minutes before firefighters were eventually called.

The fire has been blamed on faulty wiring, and the hotel’s night manager is the only person facing criminal charges for the damage and the deaths.

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