One man has died and six other people are missing after a seaside hotel blaze in Cornwall, England this morning.
Three others were taken to hospital after a huge blaze broke out at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, shortly after midnight.
The three injured were taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. Police said their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
A number of other people with minor injuries were treated at the scene. Officers said the guests, who are mainly elderly, were too traumatised to talk.
Guests staying at the Penhallow and two adjoining hotels were evacuated after the flames spread under the roof.
Cornwall County Fire Brigade’s deputy chief fire officer Ted Simpson said firefighters are still searching the building for casualties.
Mr Simpson said the number of people unaccounted for had been reduced from eight to six after two people turned up safe and well. They had not been inside the hotel.
He said the other six who are still missing “may or may not be inside the building”.
A fire investigation team are on site and have already started trying to find out what caused the blaze.
“That’s being hampered as the structure is unsafe and there is a danger it will collapse,” he said.
He said the roof had been destroyed and all the floors of the hotel had collapsed as a result of the fire, rather than due to water damage.
“It was very well developed even before the fire brigade arrived,” he added.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to the four-storey seafront hotel this morning after a member of staff had called 999 at 12.17am.
Devon and Cornwall Police said 86 residents were evacuated from the hotel.
Superintendent John Green from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Basic Command Unit said: “The fire is being treated as a major incident.
“It is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire and the scene will be examined by specially trained officers once the fire service advise us that it safe to do so.”
The Penhallow Hotel is owned by Holdsworth Hotels which also has hotels in Torquay, Eastbourne and the Isle of Wight. It is part of the Robinsons Holidays group, based in Blackburn, Lancashire.
A spokesman for the firm said: “We do know that there were at least 86 people in the hotel who were with a Robinsons coach holiday. Robinsons do use it a lot. They are part of the same group that owns the hotel and they do cater for the more mature passenger, largely from the north and north-west of England.
“It seems that everyone who successfully got out has been accommodated elsewhere in local hotels and we are making arrangement to reunite them with their belongings and check them over.
“Robinsons are endeavouring to make arrangements for them to travel home as soon as appropriate.
“There were people who were about to go to the Penhallow Hotel. The company are trying to contact them at the moment to see what alternative arrangements can be made.”