17 killed as fire hits hotel in New Delhi (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Nellie Chapman
February 12, 2019

The blaze broke out before dawn at Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central Delhi.

The fire, which killed at least 17 people, initially broke out in the second floor of the building, a North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said.

"Nine people are dead including a woman and a child".

G.C. Misra, Delhi fire brigade director, said the blaze had been brought under control and that 35 people were rescued by firefighters in an operation lasting several hours.

The four-storey hotel, which had 35 rooms, was completely booked by a family which was in Delhi for a function, informed Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg.

Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy police commissioner, said authorities are still investigating what sparked the fire.

"So I have also directed the fire department to inspect such multi-storeyed buildings which have five floors or more and submit a report in a week's time", he said.

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The inferno was reported in the early hours of Tuesday, with videos showing the top floors of the building consumed by flames. The injured have been taken to the hospital, officials said. Most people jumped out of the upper floors of the hotel to save their lives.

The fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel located on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.

Fire accidents are not uncommon in Indian cities, where builders often flout safety regulations.

Building regulations and fire safety measures are routinely flouted by builders and incidents of fires are reported nearly every week from across the country.

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

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the massive fire, its Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.

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