At least 17 people died Tuesday before dawn in a fire in a hotel in central New Delhi, AFP reported firefighters in the Indian capital.
The fire broke out at the Hotel Arpit Palace, located in a dense and central area of the megacity, and ravaged the entire top floor. "We confirmed with the hospital authorities, the record is now 17 (dead) including a child," said AFP Sunil Choudhary, a fire chief.
"People could not use the corridors to evacuate"
The fire was controlled after several hours and 35 people were rescued by firefighters. According to the local press, a woman and a child died when they tried to escape by jumping out the window.
"There were wooden signs in the corridors, because of which people could not use the corridors to evacuate," said another fire chief to the press.
Accidental fires are common in India due to lax regulation and frequent non-compliance with safety standards. In December, eight people died and more than 100 were injured in a fire at a public hospital in Mumbai (west).