Fire at New Delhi hotel kills at least 17

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At least nine people, including a child, were killed after a major fire broke out in Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi's Karol Bagh area in the wee hours of Tuesday.

A woman and a child died after they tried jumping from a window of the building. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

Meanwhile, the fire has been doused and bodies of the people are being taken out now from the hospital.

Dramatic footage from the scene shared on social media showed thick smoke and huge flames pouring out of the 35-room hotel.

A wedding party had booked a large part of the 35-room hotel.

"There was wooden panelling in the corridor because of which people couldn't use the corridors to leave the hotel", firefighter Vipin Kenta told the Hindustan Times newspaper. Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit.

Mr Jain, who visited the Arpit Palace Hotel where the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, told mediapersons that he has also directed the fire department to inspect buildings which are five floors or more and submit a report on their fire safety compliance within a week.

Cooling process is underway and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added.

Unconfirmed reports say the death toll is likely to rise as numerous injured jumped from the burning building to the ground.

Delhi's urban development minister Satyendar Jain said authorities appeared to have been negligent in enforcing building laws in the surrounding area. 45 people have been rescued from the burning hotel, whereas 8 people are said to be in critical condition.

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