17 killed in massive fire in central Delhi Hotel; govt orders probe

Blanche Robertson
February 12, 2019

A fire at a hotel in Delhi's Karol Bagh's area killed 17 people on Tuesday morning.

At least nine people were killed, and three others injured when a fire engulfed a hotel in New Delhi on Tuesday, a senior official said.

The dead included a woman and a child who tried to escape by jumping from a fifth-floor window of the 65-room hotel in the shopping district of Karol Bagh.

A call was received at 4.30 a.m. from Arpit Palace Hotel and immediately 25 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the officer at the Delhi Fire Department headquarters told IANS.

A wedding party had booked a large part of the 35-room hotel and most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, news agency Reuters said.

Fire was reported on third and fourth floor, but the blaze spiralled down as well.

"There was wooden panelling on corridors because of which people could not use corridors to evacuate", another fire officer told reporters.

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Video recorded on cellphones by eye-witnesses showed huge flames crowning the terrace of the white six-storey building.

Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy police commissioner, said authorities are still investigating what sparked the fire. Thirty-five people were rescued and those injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations.

Officials said 35 people were rescued.

Delhi's urban development minister Satyendar Jain said authorities appeared to have been negligent in enforcing building laws in the surrounding area. He also said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered. Bodies are being taken out now.

Four people were killed in November past year in a factory fire in Beadonpura area in Karol Bagh after a solvent used for laundering clothes spilt out on the floor accidentally.

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