17 killed in massive fire at New Delhi hotel

Delhi fire: Karol Bagh's Hotel Arpit Palace in India goes up in flames | Daily Star

At least 17 people, including a child, died and three were wounded in a massive fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi's Karol Bagh area on Tuesday morning.

Fire brigade and police officials said the death toll had risen from nine to at least 17 people, with four others sustaining injuries. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

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.

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

"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.

Television showed pictures of flames leaping from the top floor.

A further 35 people had been rescued, authorities confirmed.

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

The fire has already raised questions about safety in poorly regulated budget hotels in the country. Bodies are being taken out now.

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

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, Cabinet minister Satyendar Jain said.

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.

Police said they were investigating the cause.

"This hotel had been built up to six floors".

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