New Delhi — The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the massive fire that broke out at a central Delhi hotel Tuesday morning, killing at least 17 people. Among the dead are a woman and child who jumped out a window to escape the fire.
The fire broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace on the Gurudwara road in Karol Bagh.
A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from Delhi fire service told PTI. The fire was brought under control at 7 am. Fire officials rescued 35 people and the injured were taken to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, NDTV reported.
Most of the victims died due to suffocation, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said.
“Strict action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence,” he said.
The hotel had been completely booked by a family which was in Delhi for a function, Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg told The Indian Express.
Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit, according to Reuters.
“There was wooden paneling on corridor because of which people couldn’t use corridors to evacuate, 2 people had jumped off the building,” fire officer Vipin Kental told ANI.
Balan Mani, Vice President of the the Delhi Hotel Association, claimed the fire in ducting had spread to the hotel rooms.
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.
Last week, a fire broke out in a hospital in a Delhi suburb, forcing emergency evacuation of patients. Nobody was hurt.