17 killed in fire at shoddy New Delhi hotel, 4 others hurt

17 killed in fire at shoddy New Delhi hotel, 4 others hurt

Fire brigade and police officials said the death toll had risen from nine to at least 17 people, with four others sustaining injuries.

Delhi Hotel Association Vice President Balan Mani told news agency ANI that all safety norms were followed in the hotel adding that the accident occurred due to fire in ducting because of which it had spread to the hotel rooms. Many were severely injured and have been rushed to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Eyewitnesses said several people jumped out of the upper floors to save their lives. "The status of the staff who jumped is yet to be known".

Delhi minister Satyendra Jain told the NDTV news website that the Arpit Palace had built a fifth floor with a kitchen and a terrace, even though the owners only had permission to build four storeys.

Fire officer Vijay Paul says 25 fire engines responded to the blaze, which has been extinguished.

Reportedly, the reason behind the fire was the short circuit on the 4th floor of the hotel.

Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons said the emergency exits at the hotel were problematic. We recovered only two dead bodies from the corridors and the rest 15 from inside the rooms where there was no fire.

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A deputy manager of the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in Visakhapatnam died in the Hotel Arpit Palace fire mishap in Delhi.

Fire accidents are not uncommon in Indian cities, where builders often flout safety regulations.

In December, eight people were killed when a fire engulfed a hospital in Mumbai.

Rescuers had to break windows to evacuate people because wood paneling in the corridors and stairwells fed the flames, said fire official Atul Garg.

"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.

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