At least 35 others were rescued from the six-storeyed building, while three jumped off the upper floors of the hotel in Karol Bagh to save their lives.
The death toll could further rise. Most victims died of suffocation, Fire Chief Officer G.C. Mishra said.
The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into a massive fire at a hotel in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh area on Tuesday in which at least 17 people were killed, its Home Minister Satyendar Jain said.
Jain, who visited the Arpit Palace Hotel where the fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, told reporters 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.
“We have ordered for a magisterial inquiry into the case. Seventeen people have died, most of them of suffocation. Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration’s side) and action will taken against those found guilty,” he said.
Generally, four floors are allowed for such establishments, the minister said.
“We saw a canopy was put up on the terrace and tables and chairs were laid out. Inside in the rooms, wooden panels were there on the walls,” Jain said.
“So I have also directed the fire department to inspect such multi-storeyed buildings which have five floors or more and submit a report in a week’s time,” he said.
The blaze that swept through the hotel in Gurudwara Road in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh killed at least 17 people, police said.
A call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior officer from the Delhi Fire Service said.
A call was received at 4.30 a.m. from Arpit Palace Hotel and immediately 25 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the officer at the Delhi Fire Department headquarters told IANS.
The hotel comprises of basement, ground floor and four other floors. At least 35 rooms were booked by one family who were in the city for a special function.
Fire was reported on third and fourth floor, but the blaze spiralled down as well. Only the basement and ground floor were not affected.
Most of the tragedies were reported between the second and the fourth floor. The fire has already been controlled and the cooling process was underway.
Fire fighters searched rooms and toilets to ensure that none was left trapped, Mishra said.
“When the fire tenders reached the spot, flames were leaping out of the building. Many people were still fast asleep at that time,” he said, adding that during the dousing process the nine bodies were discovered.