Death toll rises to 17 in India hotel fire: official

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The death toll rose to 17 from a fire that tore through a hotel in New Delhi on Tuesday, a senior official said.

The fire broke out before dawn at the budget Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central Delhi.

“We have confirmed with hospital authorities, the toll is now 17 including a child,” Sunil Choudhary, a fire brigade official, told AFP.

GC Misra, the director of Delhi Fire Services, told AFP that the blaze had been brought under control and that 35 people were rescued by firefighters in an hours-long operation.

Images showed thick smoke and flames billowing out of the top floor of three-storey hotel, popular with budget travellers.

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations.

In December, six people were killed when a fire engulfed a hospital in Mumbai, the capital of western Maharashtra state.

In 2017, 14 people were killed, also in Mumbai, when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant.

This article or news story originally appeared on AFP