Could Have Saved More Lives If We Got Call On Time, Says Delhi Fire Chief

New Delhi: 

After Delhi hotel fire tragedy in which 17 people were killed, Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg on Wednesday said more lives could have been saved if they had got the call on time.

“We got the call very late. Either they were trying to control it before or they did not know about the fire. When we reached, the intensity of fire increased,” Mr Garg said.

According to the Delhi Fire Department, 35 people were rescued from Hotel Arpit Palace. At least 11 people suffered injuries and were sent to the hospital.

“There was commercial fitting in stairs and corridors which were the reason the fibre sheet caught fire. Due to fire, exits were blocked,”  Mr Garg told news agency ANI, adiing, “I was told that the watchman closed the back entry gates. Windows were not opening. There was a push button but no one could found it because of the dark. The reason for most deaths is fire and smoke.”

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the fire tragedy at Hotel Arpit Palace.

Mr Garg added, “We have examined their No Objection Certificate, the hotel has given it in writing that they don’t need area of the fifth floor.”

The hotel was reportedly using the fifth floor as a restaurant which causes a major fire.

According to the chief officer, there are around 380 No Objection Certificates given to the guest house-cum-hotel in Karol Bagh area.

Mr Garg stressed on public awareness and said, “People should also need to be aware. They should ask the hotel whether it had No Objection Certificates or not. We will launch a drive to educate the people.”

When asked about the actions against violating hotels, Mr Garg said, “Six teams have been constituted. If we found any irregularity, we will cancel the hotel’s license right away.”

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