17 killed as huge fire razes hotel in Delhi

17 killed as huge fire razes hotel in Delhi

Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners' Association's vice-president Balan Mani said on Tuesday that all rules and regulations were followed in Karol Bagh's Hotel Arpit Palace, where at least 17 people were killed in a blaze.

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.

Jain, who visited the Arpit Palace Hotel where the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, told reporters that he has also directed the fire department to inspect buildings which are five floors or more and submit a report on their fire safety compliance within a week.

"We have confirmed with hospital authorities, the toll is now 17 including a child", Sunil Choudhary, a fire brigade official, told AFP. Most victims died of suffocation, Fire Chief Officer G.C. Mishra said.

Video recorded on cellphones by eye-witnesses showed huge flames crowning the terrace of the white six-storey building.

Karol Bagh, filled with shops and budget hotels, is popular with tourists. The injured have been taken to the hospital, officials said.

The incident raised fresh questions about safety standards in poorly regulated hotels catering to the less affluent.

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Paul says 35 people were rescued from the hotel.

Fire fighters searched rooms and toilets to ensure that no one was left trapped, Mishra said. While two people jumped out of the building due to getting panic.

Police said they were investigating the cause.

The has been doused and the bodies are being taken out of the hotel.

Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain said, "According to building bylaws, buildings can not be over four-storeys (parking & four storeys) in this area".

The hotel comprises of basement, ground floor and four other floors.

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