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Delhi Hotel Fire: General manager, manager arrested, owner absconding

The fire started from the first floor and spread to other floors.

Aparajit Chakraborty and Syed Hashim Najmi | New Delhi |

Delhi Police have arrested the general manager and a manager of Hotel Arpit Palace where a massive fire killed 17 people on Tuesday.

General manager Rajender and manager Vikas were arrested for culpable homicide, DCP (central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said.

The hotel owner, Shardendu Goel, is absconding since the incident took place.

The police registered an FIR against the management of Hotel Arpit Palace under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

The fire, which broke out during the early hours on Tuesday swept through the four-storey hotel.

A child was among those killed in the blaze. The hotel, with 65 rooms, has five floors, including the basement. The fire started from the first floor and spread to other floors.

The deaths occurred mostly due to suffocation. However, several bodies, which were brought to the hospital, were found to be completely burnt, said fire department officials.  Inflammable wooden panels also helped the fire to spread, fire department officials alleged.  There was an encroachment at the emergency exit gate and the emergency corridor was also narrow. Even fire alarm was not functioning when the fire broke out, alleged fire department officials.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the next of kin of those killed in the fire.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted, “Due to the tragic fire incident in Karol Bagh where several people have lost their lives, today’s Vishal Dadlani’s program scheduled for this evening (12 Feb) in Delhi, stands cancelled. Our heartfelt condolences for the grieving families.”