JUST IN: Fire guts popular Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in Yangon, a lakeside colonial-era teakwood building.

One person died in a pre-dawn blaze on Thursday that tore through a teakwood hotel in Yangon popular with foreign visitors to Myanmar’s main city.

The fire gutted the lakeside Kandawgyi Palace Hotel, a colonial-era building owned by a Myanmar businessman notorious for making his fortune under the former junta.

Hundreds of firefighters tried to quell the blaze which broke out at around 20:30 GMT, but they could not stop the flames from consuming the luxury hotel.

An AFP reporter at the scene saw a white plastic sheet covering a body retrieved from the fire, but there was no immediate confirmation of further casualties.

“We don’t know why the fire started. We’re sad that such a historic and beautiful place was completely destroyed,” a witness who identified herself as Kyi Kyi told AFP.

Another witness who was wearing a branded shirt of the Htoo company, which owns the hotel, said: “It is really bad. All has gone now.”

Guests at the destroyed hotel had been moved to other hotels in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city which has made its mark on Southeast Asia’s tourist trail since the country emerged from full junta rule.

Source: AFP
Edited by: Anirudh.V.