Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hotel Courtyard Marriott Five Star, Sealed in Ahmedabad

AMC seals five-star hotel for flouting safety norms

Hotel Continued To Operate Despite Closure Notice
Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) on Saturday afternoon sealed Hotel Courtyard Marriott after the fire department found that the five-star hotel continued to operate despite getting a notice of closure. This is the same hotel where the Indian and Australian cricket teams were put up during their match at Motera.
M F Dastoor, chief fire officer, Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services, said, “After a fire broke out at the sauna bath facilities of the hotel, the fire department found that the hotel lacked fire safety norms. The fire department had immediately withdrawn the no-objection certificate for fire safety. On Friday evening, one more notice was sent to the hotel management asking them to close operations. But, on Saturday it was found that the hotel was still operating; hence, the department has no other option but to seal the hotel.”
“We have sealed Courtyard Marriott for not abiding with fire safety norms. The management informed the fire department that they have rectified the discrepancies pointed out by the fire department. We will inspect it again on Sunday afternoon after which a decision to open the seal would be taken,” added Dastoor.
AMC officials said that following the sealing, the hotel’s guests, who included foreign nationals, were shifted to alternative locations. They added, “the hotel neither had any natural ventilation system nor any smoke evacuation system to deal with such emergencies. The fire department had asked the hotel management to create a natural ventilation system or get a smoke evacuation system installed.”
On Thursday morning, fire had erupted in the hotel thereby emitting heavy smoke. Initially, it was utter confusion as firemen were unable to point out the origin of fire. Firemen had to enter the hotel wearing oxygen masks. After 20 minutes of hunting for the source of fire, it was finally located at a sauna facility on the hotel’s second floor. “A malfunctioning machine or overheating or short-circuit of electric wires might have caused it,” said an AFES officer.
During the operation, fire department officials found the firefighting system of the hotel malfunctioning at various levels. “Neither automatic sprinklers nor the manual firefighting system worked. The overhead water tanks were also not used,” said fire officials.

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