Guests at the hotel, popular with budget and business travellers, were unable to use corridors to escape because of wooden panelling, according to a fire officer. Bhupendra Rajput, an eyewitness who helped in rescue operation, said, "We were inside my room at a hotel nearby the incident happened". According to the fire department, seven men, a woman and child died in the blaze. Those staying in the hotel included a group of tourists from Myanmar, broadcaster NDTV said, adding that authorities were trying to ascertain their whereabouts. If most of the victims died due to suffocation, three of them lost their lives when they tried to jump off the building. Some members of the hotel staff, jumped off the building to save themselves and were rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. Over 30 people were rescued by firefighters, who managed to contain the blaze after several hours.
As the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor has questioned the fire safety NOC to Arpit Palace Hotel, it is a matter of investigation that out of these 20% how many restaurants and hotels actually fulfill the fire safety requirements in letter and spirit under National Building Code of India.
About 120 people were inside the six-story hotel at the time of the fire.
Four people were injured in the incident.
The minister, who visited the site of the tragedy in central Delhi's Karol Bagh locality, said he was sure that there would be a violation of norms. "Apparently, there were lapses (from the hotel administration's side) and action will be taken against those found guilty". More than two dozen fire engines were sent to the spot after the fire broke out on the top two floors around 4 am.
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Virendra Singh, deputy fire chief, said 35 people had been rescued from the hotel located in the shopping district of Karol Bagh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that he was deeply saddened by the loss of lives.
The hotel was first granted a licence in October 2005 and was renewed every year.
The officials also indicated that the fifth floor was sealed with a brick wall after which a fire safety certificate was issued.