Morning Inferno: 17 die in as fire sweeps through Karol Bagh hotel

Delhi govt orders probe; announces compensation, PM condoles loss of lives
Report by: 
Agencies
NEW DELHI
12 Feb 2019

At least 17 people were killed as a massive fire swept through a hotel in central Delhi's Karol Bagh area early today, police said.
The fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel located on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh. A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service said. A senior Delhi Police official said 17 people were killed in the fire. The injured were rushed to three hospitals including the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML). Thirteen bodies are at the RML Hospital, a senior doctor said. The dead includes a child. A video of the incident showed two people jumping from the fourth floor of the burning building.  According to eyewitnesses, most deaths were caused due to suffocation. They said wooden panelling in the corridors of the hotel contributed to the quick spread of the fire.
A fire department official said some fire extinguishers were found used suggesting people trapped inside tried to douse the fire in a bid to escape. Cooling process is underway and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives in a the tragedy. "Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire at Karol Bagh in Delhi. I convey my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives," Modi tweeted. He wished for speedy recovery of the injured. The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, its home minister Satyendar Jain said. 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 ordered for a magisterial inquiry into the case. Seventeen people have died, most of them of suffocation. Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration's side) and action will taken against those found guilty," he said.
Generally, four floors are allowed for such establishments, the minister said. "We saw a canopy was put up on the terrace and tables and chairs were laid out. Inside in the rooms, wooden panels were there on the walls," Jain said. "So I have also directed the fire department to inspect such multi-storeyed buildings which have five floors or more and submit a report in a week's time," the minister said. A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service said. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of those killed in the tragedy. Kejriwal announced the compensation after visiting the spot.