At least 17 people were killed and more than five were injured as a massive fire swept through a hotel in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area early in the morning on Tuesday, 12 February, police said.
The fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel located on 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 the Delhi Fire Service told PTI.
DCP MS Randhawa confirmed to The Quint that at least 17 people had succumbed to their injuries in the fire.
The injured were rushed to three hospitals, including the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) near Connaught Place.
The bodies of the dead are being kept at the RML hospital, a senior doctor said, as per PTI.
The dead includes a child and woman.
According to eyewitnesses, most deaths were caused due to suffocation.
A wedding party had booked a large part of the 35-room hotel and most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, news agency Reuters said.
A video of the incident also showed two people jumping from the fourth floor of the burning building in a bid to escape the blaze. Both of them did not survive the fall, sources told The Quint.
What We Know So Far
- At least 17 people have died and five have been injured.
- According to eyewitnesses, most deaths were caused due to suffocation.
- The fire has been doused and a cooling operation has been launched.
- The cause of the fire, prima facie, is a short circuit.
Delhi Fire services director GC Mishra told the news portal that the fire started from the fourth floor of the hotel and spread till the second floor. The ground floor and basement were not affected by the fire, he added.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but sources quoted by News18 said that prima facie, it looks to be a short circuit.
‘People Jumped Off Building to Save Themselves’
Fire Officer Vipin Kental said that wooden paneling along the hotel’s corridor prevented people from evacuating the building.
He also said that at least two people had jumped off the building in an attempt to save themselves, ANI reported.
“The fire has been extinguished now and a cooling operation has been launched,” Kental added.
‘Strict Action Will be Taken Against Guilty’
Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain, meanwhile, said that the District Magistrate had ordered an inquiry into the incident.
“Strict action will be taken against those found guilty of negligence,” he said, as per ANI.
‘All Norms Followed; Incident a Mishap’
Balan Mani, Delhi Hotel Association Vice President, dubbed the incident a mishap and said that all norms were followed while issuing the license to the hotel.
“The fire spread via the ducting to the hotel rooms. Mishaps can occur in a house as well,” he said.