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Eight killed in Ukraine hotel fire

A policeman stays in guard in front of the Tokyo Star hotel in Odessa, southern Ukraine. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Kiev, Ukraine Aug 17, 2019, 04.46 PM (IST)

Eight people were killed and ten were injured in a hotel fire in Ukraine's port city of Odesa early Saturday, emergency services said. 

The fire broke out at 1.34 am (2234 GMT) in the southern city's Tokyo Star hotel.

Some 65 firefighters backed by 13 emergency vehicles put out the blaze three hours later. 

Emergency services said in a statement that eight people died and ten were injured. 

In a statement on his Facebook page, President Volodymyr Zelensky said four of those injured were in a critical condition. 

Odessa authorities said around 150 people were evacuated from the area. 

Police opened a criminal investigation into possible violations of fire safety requirements and the causes of the fire were being established. 

"We lost eight lives overnight," Zelensky said on Facebook. 

"And this is not due to war and shelling. It is because of criminal negligence, neglect of elementary safety standards and neglect towards human life." 

Zelensky added he would "personally make sure" that those responsible are punished "by the norms of the law." 

Odesa is a Black Sea port 475 kilometres (300 miles) south of Ukraine's capital Kiev. The seaside town also attracts summer tourists.