At least 17 people died and three were injured when a massive fire broke out at a hotel in New Delhi on Tuesday. The incident took place on the top floor of Hotel Arpit Palace on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.
According to reports, the fire spread after a short circuit at around 4.30 am. It was brought under control by 7 am and the rescue operations were called off by 9.50 am. According to the fire rescue operators, there was wooden panelling in the corridor because of which people could not use corridors to evacuate the building.
The fire services department said that six men, a woman and a child lost their lives in the blaze. Thirteen members of a family from Kerala were also staying at the hotel. The family hailed from Cheranelloor in Kochi, they had been in Delhi to attend a wedding in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Three of the family have been reported dead as the fire engulfed them at the ill-fated hotel. The remaining ten were left unhurt as the fire did not consume the floor they were staying at.
A woman and a child died after they tried jumping from a window of the building. Many were severely injured and have been rushed to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Nearly 35 people were rescued safely.
Most of the deaths occurred due to suffocation inside the rooms as people were sleeping when the incident happened. Thirteen bodies are kept at the hospital among which five are beyond recognition.
Thick smoke and huge flames were seen emanating from the 35-room hotel till around 7 am. A total of 26 fire brigades were rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
The state minister for urban development Satyendar Jain said that the officials have been negligent in enforcing building laws in the surrounding area. "There is a clear case of negligence here," he said adding the hotel had a fifth floor in violation of laws that permit only up to four floors.