Fire in Delhi hotel kills 17, raises questions of safety

The fire broke out in a congested area in central Delhi. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Fire in Delhi hotel kills 17, raises questions of safety

  • The blaze broke out before dawn at Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central Delhi
  • Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit

NEW DELHI: 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.

The incident raised fresh questions about safety standards in poorly regulated hotels catering to the less affluent.
A wedding party had booked a large part of the 35-room hotel. Among the dead were a woman and a child who tried to escape by jumping from a window, the Indian Express said. Television showed pictures of broken windows.
Virendra Singh, deputy fire chief, said 35 people had been rescued from the hotel located in the shopping district of Karol Bagh. Most of the victims were sleeping when the fire broke out, believed to have been caused by a short circuit.
Authorities in Delhi have frequently launched raids to enforce building codes, fire safety measures and evacuation procedures but these steps have failed to check rampant violations by builders in a rapidly expanding capital city of more than 18 million people.
Last week, a fire broke out in a hospital in a Delhi suburb, forcing emergency evacuation of patients. Nobody was hurt.

(With Reuters, AFP)


Dublin airport temporarily suspends flights over drone sighting

Updated 21 February 2019
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Dublin airport temporarily suspends flights over drone sighting

  • Similar incidents caused temporary suspension of flights in London’s Gatwick and Dubai’s International Airport

DUBLIN: Flight operations at Dublin airport have been temporarily suspended due to the confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield, Ireland’s largest airport said on Thursday.
The flying of drones over Britain’s second-busiest airport, London’s Gatwick, sparked 36 hours of travel chaos last December while flights at Dubai International Airport were temporarily grounded last week due to suspected drone activity.
“Passengers should contact their airline’s website for flight updates. We will post updates here when they become available,” Dublin airport said on its Twitter page.