Delhi Hotel caught fire

A massive fire engulfed a hotel in central Delhi’s congested Karol Bagh area in the early hours of 12 th February, killing 17 people, including two people who jumped off the building in a desperate bid to save themselves.

The deceased included three Myanmar nationals and an Indian Revenue Service officer, Suresh Kumar, 52. Two staffers of hotel Arpit Palace also died. Kumar and the hotel cook, Tara Chand, jumped off the building in a desperate bid to escape but died.

A 33-year-old Myanmar national, Chan Chan, also jumped off the over 25-year-old structure but survived with a fracture in her leg.

Prime facie, the cause of the fire was suspected to be a short-circuit, the police and fire officials said. According to hospital authorities at least four others were injured. However, the police said only one other person was injured. The police said that out of 17 people killed, 15 have been identified. Autopsy was conducted on five bodies which were handed over to their families. Initially, the fire officials said a child
had died in the blaze but later the police said it was the body of an adult male victim which had charred and shrunk beyond recognition.

According to the fire department, they received a call at around 4.35 am about the incident following which 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. It took nearly four hours for them to douse the fire that had swept through all the floors of the five-storey building which had a terrace kitchen in violation of rules. Flames resurfaced by noon but were later doused.

In a late evening development, the police arrested hotel’s general manager Rajender and manager Vikas on the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. “A case has been registered against the two and the hotel owner who is absconding since the incident”; DCP (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa told reporters.

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