Three persons out of the 17, who were killed in the fire at a hotel in New Delhi, belonged to Kerala. 82-year-old Nalini, and her two children, 49-year-old Jayasree and Vidya Sagar (in his late 50s) were among the 13 members of a family from Kerala, who were stranded in Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh on Tuesday morning when it caught fire. The others in the family, however, managed to escape.
The family had flown to New Delhi on February 8 to attend Nalini’s sister’s granddaughter’s wedding. “We are yet to receive more details, but from what we gathered so far, Nalini amma, Jayasree and Vidya Sagar uncle were staying in one room. As soon as the fire broke out, the 10 members managed to escape. Nalini Amma was old and had difficulty in walking. Vidya Sagar and Jayasree were helping her but eventually got trapped. And so they could not make it out of the building in time,” Vishnu Venugopal, grandson of Nalini, told TNM.
“Nalini Amma and Vidya Sagar were identified by the gold chain they wore. They were severely burnt. Jayasree’s body was easily identified,” said Vishnu.
The 10 members, according to Vishnu, are currently at Kerala House in New Delhi. One of the family members, named Beena, sustained minor burns.
“We are currently making arrangements to receive the bodies by Tuesday evening or Wednesday,” he added.
Kerala Chief Minister's Office stated that arrangements have been made to bring back the bodies of the victims at the earliest.
The fire broke out around 4 am on Tuesday in the six-storeyed Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh. The incident claimed 17 lives, including a child. Some 35 people were rescued. Most victims died of suffocation, Fire Chief Officer GC Mishra said.
According to reports, the glass windows were jammed. As the fire started spreading to other floors, three people jumped from the building even as fire tenders rushed to the spot after receiving a call at 4.30 am.
New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the spot, said a magisterial probe will be launched into the incident.
The hotel comprises a basement, a ground floor and four other floors. At least 35 rooms were booked by members of one family, who were in the city for a special function.
The fire was reported on the third and fourth floor, but the blaze spiralled down as well. Only the basement and ground floors were not affected.