Fire at budget hotel in Delhi kills 17

Fire at budget hotel in Delhi kills 17

Fire at budget hotel in Delhi kills 17

At least 17 people died when a fire ripped through a budget hotel in Delhi on Tuesday, prompting authorities to launch a safety check of other buildings in the vicinity.

The fire was doused around 7 am, however, the rescue operation went on for four hours and the firefighters and Delhi police officials were able to rescue 35 people.

"We have confirmed with hospital authorities, the toll is now 17 including a child", Sunil Choudhary, a fire brigade official, told AFP. Many were severely injured and have been rushed to Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

A video of the incident shows people jumping from the fourth floor after breaking open window panes.

Jain blamed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for the violation and said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered.

At least 22 fire engines were scrambled to tackle the blaze at the hotel.

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"We have to check the stability of the structure, check every room", Randhawa said.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but the police said most deaths occurred due to suffocation. After visiting the spot, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the victims of the fire.

The disaster is the latest of its kind in India, where poor health and safety standards - especially in hotels and facilities for the poor - are all too common. "Many people were still fast asleep at that time", he said, adding that during the dousing process the nine bodies were discovered.

While numerous victims were charred to death or suffocated in the poisonous fumes, at least three people were killed when they reportedly jumped off the building in desperate attempts to escape the blaze.

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

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