17 killed in fire at Delhi's Karol Bagh hotel

Feb 13, 2019, 01:03
17 killed in fire at Delhi's Karol Bagh hotel

A number of hotel guests have been killed, including a child, when they were suffocated in smoke from a severe fire that ripped through a hotel. Different agencies pointed out several violations on the part of the hotel's management, including closure of the emergency exit gates at the time of fire, which trapped the victims inside the establishment.

The Union tourism minister said there were a lot of wooden structures inside, which may have helped the fire spread.

Meanwhile, the vice-president of the Delhi Hotel Association Balan Mani told ANI that all fire norms were maintained in the hotel.

Dozens were also severely injured in the fire and have been rushed to nearby hospitals.

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A video of the incident showed two people jumping from the fourth floor of the burning building.

The fire-fighting operation carried by more than 100 personnel of Delhi's fire department lasted around four hours. The first tender that reached the spot did not have adequate water.

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 minister Satyendra Jain said the district magistrate has ordered an inquiry into the fire incident.

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More than 20 fire crews were dispatched to the scene, officials said.

There were 53 people in the 45-room budget hotel, which had a canopy on the terrace, housing what appeared to be a restaurant.

Spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj tweeted: "Will Delhi ever see a Commissioner of MCD or Chief of fire being suspended for such huge loss of innocent human lives".

The disaster is the latest of its kind in India, where poor health and safety standards - especially in hotels and facilities for the poor - are all too common. "The status of the staff who jumped is yet to be known".

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It's not clear whether the hotel was up to fire code, a government official said, adding that if safety hazards are found, the building's owner could face charges.

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