12 people dead in hotel fire during Miss Georgia contest

At least 12 people are confirmed dead, and an unknown number injured in a massive fire that swept through a five-star hotel in Georgia’s Black Sea resort of Batumi, which is hosting the Miss Georgia contest.

More than a hundred firefighters and other personnel scrambled to the Leogrand Hotel & Casino in the center of Batumi after fire broke out at around 8pm, local time. The fire is said to have started in the spa and casino areas.

Most of the victims choked to death from the fumes which engulfed the 20-storey building.

Among those being treated are three Turks and an Israeli, a spokesman for the Batumi University Clinic said, but there was no word on the nationalities of those killed.

The police has launched an investigation into the case. The cause of the fire is so far unknown; unclear if terror-related at the moment.