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Karol Bagh fire: 'Emergency exit was locked', says KJ Alphons; FIR registered against hotel owner

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New Delhi, Feb 12: Union minister KJ Alphons on Tuesday visited Arpit Palace hotel in Delhi's Karol Bagh locality where a fire left 17 people dead. Talking to the media after the visit, he said that the emergency exit of the Arpit Palace was "too narrow" and locked.

File photo of Union tourism minister

The Union tourism minister said there were a lot of wooden structures inside, which may have helped the fire spread. He also said he was sure that there would be violation of norms.

"When I headed to the emergency exit, I found that it had been locked yesterday (last night). Also, it was too narrow. 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 told reporters.

[Delhi continues to sit on 'fire' as nobody is bothered]

According to the fire services department, 35 people were injured in the blaze and have been taken to nearby hospitals. Most of the sixty people in the hotel were sleeping when the fire broke out.

Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against hotel owner Shubendu Goyal and the probe has been transferred to the Crime Branch.

"15 bodies identified till now. Investigation on, prima facie suggests willful negligence. FIR registered against hotel owner Shubendu Goyal, GM and Manager detained. Investigation of this case will be transferred to Crime Branch," ANI quoted DCP (central district) as saying.

[Delhi: 17 killed in fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh; 2 jumped off the building]

At least 17 people were killed in the fire that broke out in Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, Delhi earlier on Tuesday. The fire was brought under control around 7 am. Fire officials said a call about the fire was received at 4.35 am and 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Among the dead were a woman and a child, who were killed when they tried jumping from a window.

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