The Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested two people in connection with the fire at a Delhi hotel earlier in the day that killed at least 17 people and injured three, PTI reported. A short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire that broke out at Hotel Arpit Palace in New Delhi’s Karol Bagh area.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa identified the arrested people as General Manager Rajender and manager Vikas. Hotel owner Shardendu Goel is absconding.
Earlier in the day, Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons claimed the emergency exit at the hotel was too narrow to allow people trapped inside to escape and was shut at the time of the incident, NDTV reported.
Alphons spoke to reporters after he conducted an inspection of the site. “The exit is very narrow and not according to the specifications required,” Alphons said. “The police will investigate. I am sure there is a violation of rules. I just spoke to the security guard who said the emergency door was closed at night. We do not know if anyone was sitting outside the door last night.”
Meanwhile, the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office said it had made arrangements to transport the bodies of three people from the state who died in the incident back to Kerala, PTI reported. The deceased were identified as Naliniamma, her son Vidyasagar and daughter Jayshree. Their bodies will be transported via flight on Wednesday.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 5-lakh compensation for the victims’ families, PTI reported. Cabinet minister Satyendar Jain announced that there will be a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
The police had registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code related to attempt to commit culpable homicide and punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, ANI reported.