Karol Bagh: Seventeen die in Delhi hotel fire

Former India and Delhi cricketer Gautam Gambhir has hit out at the regulators in the aftermath of the tragic fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in the capital's Karol Bagh area early Tuesday (February 12) morning. Almost 35 people were rescued safely.

According to the fire officer, the hotel had fire-fighting equipment, but it is not known whether it was functional or not.

A video taken at the scene shows a guest jumping from a window to avoid being consumed by the inferno.

Authorities were still investigating what sparked the blaze, Deputy Police Commissioner Mandeep Singh Randhawa said.

A large wedding party had booked out most of the hotel, and most of the victims were sleeping when the fire began.

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He said that the fire broke out on the first floor and within minutes it spread up to the third and fourth floors of the hotel, as the staircase and corridors were made of wood.

Delhi home minister Satyendra Jain told reporters that rules were flouted to construct extra floors, with a terrace being used as an open-air restaurant.

G.C. Misra, Delhi fire services director, said the blaze had been brought under control and that 35 people were rescued by firefighters in an operation lasting several hours involving at least 25 fire engines.

Karol Bagh, in central Delhi, is popular with tourists and lined with hotels and markets.

"When the fire tenders reached the spot, flames were leaping out of the building".

"There was wooden paneling on corridor because of which people couldn't use corridors to evacuate", news agency ANI quoted fire officer Vipin Kental as saying.

"Obviously, even if people came to the emergency exit, they could not have escaped as it was too narrow and it was locked anyway", he said.

  • Rogelio Becker