Friday, 22 February, 2019

At least nine dead in India hotel fire

Delhi fire: Karol Bagh's Hotel Arpit Palace in India goes up in flames | Daily Star Death toll in Delhi hotel fire rises to 17, questions of safety raised
Leonard Rios | 12 February, 2019, 12:50

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.

A woman and a child died after they tried jumping from a window of the building. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

After an hours-long operation, firefighters rescued 35 people from the hotel, most of which was engulfed in flames.

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

Guests at the hotel, popular with budget and business travellers, were unable to use corridors to escape because of wooden panelling, according to a fire officer.

Thirty-five people were rescued and those injured were taken to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

The fire has already raised questions about safety in poorly regulated budget hotels in the country.

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Paul says 35 people were rescued from the hotel.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but the police said most deaths occurred due to suffocation.

Authorities in Delhi have frequently launched raids to enforce building codes, fire safety measures and evacuation procedures but these steps have failed to check rampant violations by builders in a rapidly expanding capital city of more than 18 million people. Thirteen bodies are at the RML Hospital, a senior doctor said.

Unconfirmed reports say the death toll is likely to rise as numerous injured jumped from the burning building to the ground.

The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors.

Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain said, "According to building bylaws, buildings can not be over four-storeys (parking & four storeys) in this area".

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