17 killed in New Delhi budget hotel fire

17 killed in New Delhi budget hotel fire

At least nine people were killed, and three others injured when a fire engulfed a hotel in New Delhi on Tuesday, a senior official said.

The dead included a woman and a child who had tried to escape by jumping from a fifth-floor window of the 65-room hotel in the shopping district of Karol Bagh. Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Sunil Choudhary said, "The fire has been doused".

Images showed thick smoke and flames billowing out of the top floor of four-storey hotel, popular with budget travellers.

The fire department will conduct an inquiry into the incident and the Delhi Police has also lodged an FIR against the hotel administration and will further investigate the negligence caused on their part.

The injured were taken to local hospitals, but their medical conditions were not immediately known. Almost 35 people were rescued safely.

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Karol Bagh, in central Delhi, is popular with tourists and lined with hotels and markets. "There was a wooden paneling on the corridor because of which people were not able to use corridors to evacuate, therefore two people jumped off the building", Vipin Kental, a fire official said, ANI reported.

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

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

The fire was brought under control by 7.30 am, and cooling operations began at 8 am, The Times of India reported.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the matter, home minister Satyendar Jain said.

Four people were killed in November a year ago in a factory fire in Beadonpura area in Karol Bagh after a solvent used for laundering clothes spilt out on the floor accidentally. Seventeen people have died, a lot of them of suffocation.

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