At least 17 people died when a fire ripped through a budget hotel in Delhi on Tuesday, with victims including a woman and a child who reportedly jumped from a window to escape the blaze.
Images showed thick smoke and flames billowing out of the top floor of the Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of the Indian capital.
Guests at the hotel, popular with budget and business travellers, were unable to use corridors to escape because of wooden panelling, according to a fire officer.
Three Myanmar citizens staying at the hotel were missing, the NDTV news network reported.
Most of the residents were sleeping at the time the fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday.
It is estimated some 120 people were inside the building, built around 25 years ago, according to the hotel’s website.
“We have confirmed with hospital authorities, the toll is now 17 including a child,” Sunil Choudhary, a senior fire brigade official, told AFP.
G.C. Misra, Delhi fire services director, said the blaze had been brought under control and that 35 people were rescued by firefighters in an operation lasting several hours involving at least 25 fire engines.
“There was wooden panelling on corridors because of which people could not use corridors to evacuate,” another fire officer told reporters.