New Delhi Hotel Fire Kills 17, Police Say

Saul Bowman
February 13, 2019

Most of the people died due to suffocation.

Most people staying in the Karol Bagh hotel were sleeping when the fire broke out.

According to the fire department, they received a call at around 4.35 am about the incident following which 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.It took almost four hours for them to douse the fire that had swept through all the floors of the five-storey building which had a terrace kitchen in violation of rules.

Relatives of an Indian hotel staff member who died in an early morning fire at the property look at his wrapped up body after it was handed over from a mortuary at Lady Hardinge Hospital in New Delhi on 12 February 2019. Those injured have been sent to hospital.

At least 35 others were rescued from the six-storeyed building, while three jumped off the upper floors of the hotel in Karol Bagh to save their lives.

GC Misra, the director of Delhi Fire Services, told AFP that the blaze had been brought under control and that 35 people were rescued by firefighters in an hours-long operation. After visiting the spot, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the victims of the fire. "A license is issued only after inspection", Mani said.

"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.

Confirming 17 deaths in the incident, Delhi's top fire officer Atul Garg said that the fire department received a phone call informing him about the fire at 4:50am local time. "It was due to fire in ducting because of which it spread to the hotel rooms".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief on the incident and offered condolences to the family of those killed.

The hotel developer had a permit from the fire department to build up to four stories - the standard height in central Delhi.

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