At least 17 people, including a child and a woman, were killed in a massive fire at a hotel in Delhi’s congested Karol Bagh area on Tuesday as authorities blamed building owners of flouting construction regulations.
The latest incident prompted the Delhi government to order a probe into the fire reported early in the morning when most guests were sleeping. Delhi minister Satyendar Jain said “strict action” will be taken against those found guilty of negligence after the fire swept through Hotel Arpit Palace. He made the comments after visiting the accident site.
“Seventeen people have died and two others have been injured. Most of the people died due to suffocation. Strict action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence. The district magistrate has ordered inquiry,” Jain, who holds multiple portfolios including home, industries and urban development, said.
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The hotel has a basement, a ground floor and four other floors and the fire was reported on third and fourth floors but the blaze spiralled down as well. The basement and ground floors, however, were not affected.
“There has been visible violations of building bye laws. The building has six storeys, including one temporary floor instead of permissible four floors. I have ordered fire inspection of buildings in the area,” Jain said.
Most damages were reported between the second and the fourth floor. The fire has been controlled and the cooling process is underway.
Reports said a woman and a child were among the dead, who tried to escape by jumping from a window of the six-story hotel located in the busy shopping area of the Capital
Fire officer Vipin Kental said the two people had jumped off the Hotel Arpit Palace on Gurudwara Road out of panic when the fire broke out.
“There was wood panelling on the corridor because of which people couldn’t use the corridors to get out. The two jumped off the building,” Kental said, according to ANI.
Delhi Fire Service officials said they received a call at 4:35am about the fire at Hotel Arpit Palace on Gurudwara Road of Karol Bagh area.
At least 35 people were rescued from the hotel located in the popular shopping district of the national capital, news agency Reuters reported quoting fire brigade official Virendra Singh.
According to deputy chief fire officer Sunil Choudhary, 26 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
Authorities have launched raids to enforce building regulations, fire safety measures and evacuation procedures but these steps have failed to check rampant violations by builders in a rapidly expanding Capital, the home to more than 18 million people.
However, Delhi Hotel Association vice-president Balan Mani all rules and regulations were followed in the hotel.
“It was due to a fire in ducting because of which it spread to the hotel rooms. All norms were followed here. A license is issued only after inspection. Mishaps can occur in a house as well,” Mani said, according to news agency ANI.
Last week, a fire broke out in a hospital in Noida, forcing an emergency evacuation of scores of patients and other people. Nobody was injured.
Four people were killed in November last year in a factory fire in Beadonpura area in Karol Bagh after a solvent used for laundering clothes spilt out on the floor accidentally.