17 dead, several injured after fire at New Delhi hotel

17 dead, several injured after fire at New Delhi hotel

"Many people were still fast asleep at that time", he said, adding that during the dousing process the nine bodies were discovered.

Last week, a fire broke out in a hotel in a Delhi suburb, forcing the emergency evacuation of patients.

Fire brigade and police officials said the death toll had risen from nine to at least 17 people, with four others sustaining injuries.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the massive fire, its Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.

According to reports, 22 fire tenders were rushed to Hotel Arpit Palace where the fire broke out around 4 am when most people in the hotel were sleeping.

Jain said hotel guests tried to flee through the hotel's narrow corridors, panelled in wood.

Karol Bagh, filled with shops and budget hotels, is popular with tourists.

Three members of an extended family were among the dead.

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But the city is rapidly growing - with more than 18 million people now crowded into the Indian capital - and building violations are nearly impossible to stop.

The incident raised fresh questions about safety standards in poorly regulated hotels catering to the less affluent.

Many structures, both old and new, lack proper fire exits.

The rescue took about 30 minutes because fire engine ladders could not initially reach his floor, he said.

"This hotel had been built up to six floors".

Generally, four floors are allowed for such establishments, the minister said.

Fire disasters are particularly frequent in Mumbai, India's financial capital where millions live in cramped and dilapidated properties because of high rents.

"People have to come out of the room and take the staircase but the staircase itself was on fire, so how they will go out?" In 2017, 14 people were killed, also in Mumbai, when a huge blaze roared through a popular restaurant.

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