A British diplomat staying at the luxury hotel Novotel in Visakhapatnam got the shock of his life when in a 'mock drill' the hotel used explosives and armed men!
"Dear @Accor; rather like many of your staff @Novotel_Vizag you too may find it funny but your mock terror raid nearly killed me," Dr Andrew Fleming, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, said on Twitter early today.
Saying that he was "still shaking" from the incident, he added. "It happened over 30 minutes earlier than advertised, explosions, men with guns. Everyone amused I dived behind the reception desk, still shaking."
Hours after the first tweet, he further shared a notice the hotel had given to the guests. "Further to my earlier tweet my colleague, who is also still shaken, recovered this from @Novotel_Vizag before checking out," he tweeted.
The note stated, "We will be undergoing "Mock Drill" for our In-house guests' safety & security. The session has been scheduled on 06th February 2020 between 10:00 to 13:00hrs."
However, according to Fleming, the mock drill happened at 09:26. "The note gave no mention of explosions, men with guns and all else I witnessed," he added.
Meanwhile, The Logical Indian contacted Novotel Visakhapatnam, managed by Accor Hotels. The hotel confirmed to us that a mock drill did happen. However, the hotel said the explosions guests heard were due to drilling. "There is a site work happening in the hotel, of drilling. We had given all the intimation to all the guests...I think that was the reason the guests were scared."
When we pressed to know why were armed men involved, the hotel said, "There were men with guns? Okay, that was a mock drill."
When we further inquired why explosions and armed men were a part of a mock drill, the hotel refused to answer. When we tried to contact the hotel's security manager, the receptionist said, "I think he is busy. He said there is nothing going on like this."
An official response from Novotel Vizag is awaited.