Millennium Post

Inferno in Karol Bagh hotel kills 17

According to Delhi Fire Services, a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am from Hotel Arpit Palace

New Delhi: As many as 17 guests died after a massive fire gutted a four-floor hotel in Central Delhi's Karol Bagh area on Tuesday morning. Police have registered a case in this regard while the Delhi government ordered a magisterial probe.

The deceased include an Income Tax officer and two foreign nationals from Myanmar. Investigators suspect a short circuit behind the incident. "We are waiting for CFSL report in the case which will confirm the reason behind the fire," an investigator said.

According to Delhi Fire Services, a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am from Hotel Arpit Palace Crossroads restaurant, and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. "25 people were safely evacuated. We also found that two panic-stricken persons jumped from the hotel," said Chief Fire Officer (DFS) Atul Garg. "Most of the bodies were found on the third and fourth floor. They were partially burnt. We suspect that people who were sleeping there might have died due to suffocation," added Garg.

It is being suspected that the fire started from the first floor and within minutes top four floors of the building were engulfed in flames. An eyewitness, Dilip, a native of Ahmedabad was staying on the first floor of the hotel when the fire started." Early in the morning, I heard people crying when I opened the door suddenly my room was filled with smoke, so I left the room. It was a stampede-like situation on the stairs," said Dilip. The emergency exit was "too narrow". There were also a lot of wooden structures which may have helped the fire spread.

According to North Delhi Municipal Corporation, a short circuit may have caused the fire. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said that they had registered the case under sections 308 and 304 of Indian Penal Code.

"We have registered the case against the owner of the hotel and arrested two employees identified as Vijendra and Vikas," said DCP Central.

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