At least 17 people died and three were injured when a massive fire broke out at a hotel in New Delhi on Tuesday. 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. 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.
Paul says the fire engulfed most of the five-storey hotel.
"As per information gathered from the site, it reveals that fire broke out in the second floor at around 3.30am on February 12 due to short-circuit", the official said.
"There was wooden panelling on corridors because of which people could not use corridors to evacuate", another fire officer told reporters.
As many as 30 fire tenders were pressed to carry out the rescue operation.
Footage showed flames leaping from the top floor.
Their medical conditions were not immediately known.
The fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel located on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.
An investigation has been launched to find the exact cause of the fire.
Frequent raids by civic authorities to enforce building codes, fire safety measures and evacuation procedures in New Delhi have failed to curb violations in this rapidly expanding city of more than 18 million people.
The fire has already raised questions about safety in poorly regulated budget hotels in the country.
The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors.
The dead includes a child. "Many people were still fast asleep at that time", he said, adding that during the dousing process the nine bodies were discovered.
Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain said, "According to building bylaws, buildings can not be over four-storeys (parking & four storeys) in this area".