Millennium Post

Dhoni, 600 others escape unhurt after fire near Dwarka hotel

The Jharkhand cricket team and their captain MS Dhoni were preparing for the upcoming Vijay Hazare trophy semi-final match against Bengal, when they had to rush out of Welcom Hotel in Dwarka Sector 10 after smoke billowed several feet up in the air and shrouded their hotel.

Dhoni rallied his team, while the Tamil Nadu team and their captain Dinesh Karthik – who were sharing the same hotel – too rushed out of their rooms, along with 647 guests fearing that a fire had broken out at their hotel, only to find that the fire broke out at a shopping mall situated at the back of the hotel. Dhoni and his men and the other waited outside the hotel.

According to a source in the security establishment of the hotel, appropriate arrangements were made to make sure that Dhoni would not be disturbed by fans as he did not want to take pictures and wanted to concentrate on the match. However, the fire forced Dhoni to seek refuge with the other guests, who took multiple selfies with the reluctant captain.

After evacuating all the guests, Dhoni and his team were taken to the Air Force Cricket Ground in Palam and after receiving the clearance from the hotel management they decided to continue their stay at the hotel. Taking stock of the situation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India postponed the semi-final which will now take place on Saturday.

The fire was reported by some of the staff members working in Pinnacle Mall – situated adjacent to the hotel. After spotting the fire, one of the staff alerted his colleagues after which the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) were informed.

"A fire broke out in the shopping mall, adjacent to the hotel. In keeping with our safety and security guidelines, as a precautionary measure, we evacuated all our guests. There were no casualties at the hotel," said Rishiraj Singh, General Manager at Welcom Hotel.

According to GC Mishra, Director, DFS, the fire was reported at 6:30 am, and DFS deputed 30 fire tenders to the spot. "As soon as DFS received the call, we deputed 30 fire tenders and it took us two hours to douse the fire. We had also evacuated around ten floors of Welcom Hotel."

After the fire was doused, officials posted at Pinnacle Mall were quick to dismiss any damage report and claimed that they had taken all the necessary fire safety precautions.

However, fire officials reported that 800 square feet of the Reliance Trends showroom inside the mall was gutted in the fire.

Further, police sources have claimed that the mall had flouted most of the procedures. "They had all the proper documents with them. But when we inspected the site we found that the safety precautions had gone for a toss. There was no fire exit towards the back of the hotel as well," claimed a highly placed police source.

So far, the DFS and Delhi Police have not being able to ascertain the cause of fire, as the fire officials are preparing a detailed report into the incident.
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