Probe points to serious lapses on part of hotel management
New Delhi: "Despite knowing that plastic and other combustible materials can prove to be dangerous, the hotel management ignored the safety norms for the guests staying there," revealed the police investigation in the case where 17 persons were killed in the fire inside Karol Bagh's hotel on Tuesday.
Police claimed that for making walls and partition between two rooms, plastic and combustible materials were used. "For the emergency exit, there was no display of proper signage while combustible materials were also found in the kitchen walls," added police. At the place of occurrence, there was no panic alarm. "A temporary structure which can catch fire anytime was erected on the rooftop of the hotel," revealed the police investigation. The initial investigation by Delhi Police in the Karol Bagh's hotel fire incident revealed that some blockage was there in the emergency exit route of the hotel.
At the time of the incident in Arpit Palace, 60 guests and 12 hotel employees were present and more than 30 rooms were occupied.
"Basically when the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) teams entered the hotel, it was filled with smoke because the routes including windows were closed," said Chief Fire Officer (DFS) Atul Garg.
He further stated that stairs had wooden cascading and there were many combustible materials inside the hotel which acted as a catalyst in spreading the fire. "Though the place has fire NOC, and fire extinguishers were also there. We will form a team and investigate whether the equipment was working or not," said Garg.
He also claimed that the officials got the information regarding the fire late which was another reason behind the loss of more lives in the incident.
Search is still on:
Postmortem of the bodies continued in RML hospital on Thursday. The family of one Lalchand who is missing after the incident visited the hospital. They were shown one body which the family could not identify. "Police have taken the blood of his wife and son for DNA match," said Jaswant Singh, Lalchand's relative. On Tuesday out of 17, bodies of 15 were identified and on Wednesday the body of one more person named Rahul who was staying at the guest in the hotel was identified. Few foreign nationals were also present at the RML mortuary for the bodies of their known persons killed in the blaze.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court on Wednesday sent two men, arrested in connection with the massive fire in Karol Bagh area, to two-day police custody.