Seventeen people died and three injured in a major fire that broke out in a central Delhi hotel early on Tuesday, a fire official said.
At least 35 others were rescued from the five-storey building. Cooling process is underway and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added.
Delhi Fire Services chief Atul Garg said the death toll could further rise.
The victims include one woman and child who tried to escape the fire by jumping out a window. The hotel, which had 35 rooms, was completely booked by a family which was in Delhi for a function, Garg added
A call was received at 4.30 a.m. from Karol Bagh's Arpit Palace Hotel and immediately 25 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the officer at the Delhi Fire Department headquarters said.
The hotel comprises of basement, ground floor and four other floors. At least 35 rooms were booked by one family who were in the city for a special function.
Fire was reported on third and fourth floor, but the blaze spiralled down as well. Only the basement and ground floor were not affected.
Most of the tragedies were reported between the second and the fourth floor. The fire has already been controlled and the cooling process was underway.
Fire fighters searched rooms and toilets to ensure that none was left trapped, Mishra said.
"When the fire tenders reached the spot, flames were leaping out of the building. Many people were still fast asleep at that time," he said, adding that during the dousing process the nine bodies were discovered.
“30 fire tenders had rushed to the spot. Rescue operation is over. There was wooden paneling on corridor because of which people couldn't use corridors to evacuate; 2 had jumped off the building,” said Vipin Kental, fire officer.
“It was due to fire in ducting because of which it had spread to the hotel rooms.All norms were followed here; license is issued only after inspection. Mishappening can occur in a house as well,” said Balan Mani, Vice President, Delhi Hotel Association.