National

Nepali family survives Delhi hotel fire that claimed 18 lives

- SURESH RAJ NEUPANE, NEW DELHI

Feb 12, 2019-

At least 18 people died in a Delhi hotel fire that broke out early on Tuesday morning.

According to local authorities, a room at the fourth floor of Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh, New Delhi caught fire after a short circuit occurred in the room’s air condition system at around 4am this morning.

A BBC report quoting local officials stated that 35 people were rescued. Eyewitnesses said the dead included a woman and a child who attempted to jump from a window to safety.

Of them, a Nepali family was also in the hotel when the incident occurred at the six-storey hotel in Karol Bagh, which is popular with tourists for its budget hotels and shopping.

Umang Shrestha of Chitwan who was at the hotel for the treatment of his four-year-old son Soumya Shrestha along with his wife Rija Shrestha survived the incident.

“We were sleeping in room number 401 of the hotel when we heard a lot of commotion,” said Shrestha, “At first we dismissed it thinking that other guests were calling the hotel staffs for something. But all of a sudden people started running from their room. When I looked outside to see what was happening, I came to know that there was a massive fire and smoke spewing from the first and second floor of the hotel.”

Shrestha said that he called the hotel manager, also a Nepali national, for help. A fire brigade truck was called in for the rescue. However, it could not reach the stressed family as the fire truck was not quipped to perform rescue task.

“I called the manager the second time and asked him to hurry as we had a sick child with us,” said Shrestha, “After some time another fire truck with hydraulic system came. We boarded the bucket of the truck and were able to escape the inferno.”

Shrestha further said that had the fire truck arrived five minutes late they would have been dead by then.

“Fate saved us,” said Shrestha.

Published: 12-02-2019 20:54

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