At least 17 people, including a child, died and three were wounded in a massive fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi's Karol Bagh area on Tuesday morning. "The fire has been doused". Bodies are being taken out now.
Among those rescued was Sivanand Chand, 43, a hotel guest who was jolted awake around 4 am, struggling to breathe.
Among the 17 dead was one child, fire officials reported. According to the eyewitnesses, many people are still feared trapped inside the hotel. In 1986, a major fire broke out in Siddharth Hotel in Vasant Vihar.
In 2017, 14 people were killed, also in Mumbai, when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant. Later, it was renamed as the Vasant Continental.
Last week, a fire broke out in a hospital in a Delhi suburb, forcing emergency evacuation of patients. The fire department will conduct an inquiry into the incident and the Delhi Police has also lodged an FIR against the hotel administration and will further investigate the negligence caused on their part.
The blaze was extinguished in the early hours with the help of at least 25 fire engines, with the top floors being gutted. 30 fire tenders had rushed to the spot. The Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, commonly referred to as Calcutta Medical College, was established in 1835 and is the second oldest medical college in India after Ecole de Medicine of Puducherry. The fire had broken out in the dispensary of the state-run Medical College and Hospital on October 3 a year ago.
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.