Firefighters were called to the blaze on Saturday at Tokyo Star Hotel in Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea in the south of Ukraine. The hotel Tokyo Star has 273 rooms.
The fire spread about 1,000 square meters (10,000 square feet). It took firefighters about three hours to extinguish the fire. Some 65 firefighters and 13 emergency vehicles were at the scene. Nine people had died and 10 more were injured. Odessa authorities said around 150 people were evacuated from the area. Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said several of the injured were in a critical condition in hospital. „It's because of criminal negligence and ignoring the elementary norms of fire safety, because of the superficial attitude to human life. This will end,” he added.
Ukrainian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into whether fire safety requirements were breached. The causes of the fire are still being established. Odessa is at Black Sea, 475 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ukraine's capital Kyiv. The seaside town also attracts summer tourists. Set in Primorsky district of Odessa, 1.3 km from Shevchenko Park, Tokyo Star Hotel was renovated in 2009. It is located 3 km from the city center of Odessa.