New Delhi fire

No further information immediately available.


Published Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A massive fire swept through a four-floor hotel in central Delhi's Karol Bagh in the early hours of Tuesday, killing at least 17 guests, including a child and two people who jumped off the building in a desperate bid to save themselves, officials said.

The blaze, in which 35 people were injured, started in the second floor of the Arpit Palace Hotel in the heart of the national capital around 3.30 am, trapping many guests who were deep in sleep.

There were 53 people in the 45-room hotel, which had a canopy on the terrace housing what appeared to be a restaurant, officials said.

A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior Delhi Fire Service official said.

At least 35 people were injured in the blaze, said Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi), adding that one person was still missing.

A senior civic official said a suspected short circuit could have sparked the fire. While the Delhi government ordered a magisterial probe, Home Minister Satyendar Jain said he has also directed the fire department to inspect buildings which are five floors or more and submit a report on their fire safety compliance within a week.

"Seventeen people have died, most of them of suffocation. Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration's side). Action will be taken against those found guilty," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives. "Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire at Karol Bagh in Delhi. I convey my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives," he tweeted.

The hotel had a canopy on its terrace with chairs and tables laid out, indicating that there was an open restaurant operating there, fire officials said, adding that there was wooden paneling in the rooms inside that could have helped the fire spread.

The fire broke out in the second floor of the building, a North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said.

A fire department official said some used fire extinguishers were found, suggesting people trapped inside tried to douse the flames in a bid to escape.

Our brave firefighters are working amidst extremely difficult circumstances to rescue those who are stranded in the building," she tweeted.
Source: DORRIS