At least 17 dead in New Delhi hotel fire

At least 17 dead in New Delhi hotel fire

Ten members of a family from Kerala were also staying at the hotel.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said this morning the ministry was not aware of any New Zealanders affected by the fire.

The fire broke out at Arpit Palace Hotel located on Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.

Delhi Fire Services and Delhi police personnel stand outside Hotel Arpit Palace after the fire was extinguished. "It's gross negligence on the part of the officers who allowed the extra floors to be built", he said. "This is what the survivors are telling us", he said.

Others were unable to break through the windows to their bedrooms. He saw flames rising fast.

"Obviously, even if people came to the emergency exit, they could not have escaped as it was too narrow and it was locked anyway", he said.

The rescue took about 30 minutes because fire engine ladders could not initially reach Chand's floor, he said.

He and some other guests were eventually evacuated through his window by a hydraulic lift. Bhupendra Rajput, an eyewitness who helped in rescue operation, said, "We were inside my room at a hotel nearby the incident happened".

"There was wood panelling on the corridor because of which people couldn't use the corridors to get out".

In a video Garg shared with AP, firefighters can be seen carrying victims slumped over their shoulders through an unlit, charred stairwell.

Authorities said an electrical short circuit may have started the fire, but added an investigation has just started to look into possible causes.

Their medical conditions were not immediately known.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condoled the loss of lives and expressed hope that the injured will recover soon.

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