Delhi Government Orders Investigation Into Hotel Fire

Fire at the Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi India

The blaze erupted in the early hours of Tuesday at Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central New Delhi. 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.

Indian Twitter user Vikas Tripathi, sharing the video, wrote: "Death toll likely to rise as people jumped off the building to save themselves". All the 13 taken to RLM hospital have died, of the 5 admitted to Lady Hardinge Hospital, 2 have succumbed to their injuries. At least 35 rooms were booked by members of one family, who were in the city for a special function. The fire has already been controlled and the cooling process was underway.

The blaze was reported from Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, which has now been doused.

"There was wooden panelling in the corridor because of which people couldn't use the corridors to leave the hotel", firefighter Vipin Kenta told the Hindustan Times newspaper. As many as 35 people were rescued, NDTV reported.

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Authorities appeared to have been negligent in enforcing building laws in the surrounding area, Delhi's urban development minister Satyendar Jain said.

Police said they were investigating the cause, and a judicial probe has been ordered into the latest disaster to raise concerns over fire safety in India.

Even though the law limits construction only to four floors, the hotel had a fifth floor, like some other nearby structures, Mr Jain said, adding that the kitchen and dining area on its top floor constituted another violation.

Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, and it was believed to have been caused by a short circuit, according to media reports.

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