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Death toll rises to 17 as huge blaze rips through Indian hotel

Death toll rises to 17 as huge blaze rips through Indian hotel

At least 17 people, including a child, have died in a Delhi hotel fire that broke out early on Tuesday morning, police said.

The death toll later rose to 17, including a mother and child who tried to escape the flames by jumping from an upstairs window. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. He added that at least two people jumped out of the building.

As per the deputy chief fire officer Sunil Chaudhary, 26 fire tenders were rushed to the spot and also said that 25 personnel were evacuated from the hotel. All the 13 taken to RLM hospital have died, of the 5 admitted to Lady Hardinge Hospital, 2 have succumbed to their injuries. Ten members of a family from Kerala were also staying at the hotel.

The fire has already raised questions about safety in poorly regulated budget hotels in the country.

Building regulations and fire safety measures are routinely flouted by builders and incidents of fires are reported nearly every week from across the country.

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Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain later visited the site, ordered a magisterial inquiry after spotting building violations and asked the fire department to inspect similar buildings in the area.

They said wooden panelling in the corridors of the hotel contributed to the quick spread of the fire.

Karol Bagh, in central Delhi, is popular with tourists and lined with hotels and markets.

A large wedding party had booked out most of the hotel, and most of the victims were sleeping when the fire began.

Delhi minister Satyendra Jain told the NDTV news website that the Arpit Palace had built a fifth floor with a kitchen and a terrace, even though the owners only had permission to build four storeys.

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