At Least 17 Killed in Massive Fire at Delhi Hotel

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A massive fire broke out at a central Delhi hotel on Tuesday morning, killing at least 17 people, hospital sources said.

Seventeen people have died in a fire at a hotel in western New Delhi. Among the dead were a woman and a child who tried to escape by jumping from a window, the Indian Express said.

Three people jumped from the blazing structure even as 25 fire tenders rushed to the spot after receiving a call at 4.30 am.

Delhi health minister Satyendra Kumar Jain has declared the blaze at Hotel Arpit Palace as a case of negligence, saying that the hotel had flouted rules by being allowed to build six floors instead of the six constructed.

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

Footage showed flames leaping from the top floor. Some were injured and have been taken to hospital.

The hotel is located in Karol Bagh, an area in India's capital city full of shops and budget hotels that is popular with tourists.

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

Building regulations and fire safety measures are routinely flouted by builders and incidents of fires are reported nearly every week from across the country.

Officials said 35 people were rescued.

"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.

Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain said, "According to building bylaws, buildings can not be over four-storeys (parking & four storeys) in this area". He added that at least two people jumped out of the building.

The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors. He also said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered.

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