Fire in Delhi hotel kills 17, raises questions of safety

Geraldine Edwards
February 13, 2019

According to reports, the fire broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace on the Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh around 4 am.

A short circuit is said to be the reason behind the fire, it added.

It was a nightmare without end, said Somshekhar, who had come to Delhi from Kerala with his family to attend a wedding Ghaziabad and was staying in the hotel. If most of the victims died due to suffocation, three of them lost their lives when they tried to jump off the building.

The injured were rushed to three hospitals including the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML).

Fire Officer Vipin Kental said, "The cause of the fire yet to be investigated".

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Mr Kumar, who sustained head injuries following the jump from the fourth floor of the building, was rushed to a nearby hospital in Delhi where he died.

It is estimated around 120 people were inside the hotel - built around 25 years ago - when the fire started.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain later visited the site, ordered a magisterial inquiry after spotting building violations and asked the fire department to inspect similar buildings in the area.

The fire broke out before dawn at the budget Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central Delhi. The minister said he was sure that there would be violation of norms.

Former Delhi Chief Minister and incumbent Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Sheila Dikshit said, "They should form a committee and look into the issue".

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Chand said rescue efforts were delayed because the first fire trucks arrived with manual ladders that weren't tall enough to reach his floor. "Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration's side) and action will be taken against those found guilty", he said.

During the four-hour long rescue operation, around 50 people were pulled out from the hotel by the police and fire service officials.

Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire at Karol Bagh in Delhi.

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

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