Fire at New Delhi hotel kills at least 17

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Eyewitnesses said the dead included a woman and a child who attempted to jump from a window to safety.

It is estimated around 120 people were inside the hotel - built around 25 years ago - when the fire started.

A senior civic official said a suspected short circuit could have sparked the fire.

A fireman stands outside the hotel where a fire broke out in New Delhi, India, February 12, 2019. Some members of the hotel staff, jumped off the building to save themselves and were rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

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Paul says 35 people were rescued from the hotel. After visiting the spot, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the victims of the fire. He further said that a license is issued to a hotel only after inspection. The other four, officials said, have been identified but efforts were on to ascertain where they came from.

Delhi's urban development minister Satyendar Jain said authorities appeared to have been negligent in enforcing building laws in the surrounding area.

Fire officials are investigating the blaze that began at the Arpit Palace Hotel in New Delhi, the Times of India reported.

Later, he tweeted: "Fire in Karol Bagh hotel".

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Union minister K.J. Alphons said the emergency exit of the Arpit Palace hotel was "too narrow" and also locked. The fire department will also conduct an inquiry into the incident.

The hotel developer had a permit from the fire department to build up to four stories - the standard height in central Delhi.

In recent months, officials have shut down a number of shops and restaurants in some of Delhi's most exclusive neighbourhoods for not following fire safety measures. Because of the ignorance, they don't understand how their lives have been put at risk by the rest in the "nobody club", who know "ways and means" to bypass the applicable rules and regulations for their "common benefit".

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