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Hotel sealed top floor with wall during inspection, later demolished it to run eatery: Official

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The fifth floor of 'Hotel Arpit Palace', where a massive fire snuffed 17 lives, was being used as a rooftop restaurant which was "unauthorised", officials said Tuesday.

The fifth floor was sealed with a brick wall after which a fire safety certificate was issued, officials said and indicated that later the wall was demolished to run the rooftop restaurant.

They said the fifth floor was shaded with acrylic roof and being used as a terrace restaurant by the hotel management and added that kitchen and chairs were found by them during the fire fighting and cooling operations.

"The fifth floor was sealed with brick wall when a fire safety certificate was issued to on December 12, 2014," said a (DFS)

Later, a reinspection was done by the DFS on December 4, 2017, and the owner was "deemed complied" with fire safety norms at the hotel premises and it was declared "fit" for "occupancy class residential"(guesthouse) with effect from December 24, 2017 for a period of three years, he said.

"Apparently, the wall used to seal the fifth floor was dismantled and it was being used for a terrace restaurant," the said.

The fire safety certificate was issued only for basement being used as storage, ground floor which was used for a restaurant and reception, first and second floor having 12 guest rooms each, third and fourth floor having 11 guest rooms each, he added.

A massive fire swept through the four-storied hotel in the early hours of Tuesday, killing at least 17 guests, including two people who jumped off the building in a desperate bid to save themselves.

A child was among those killed in the blaze that started on the first floor of the hotel in the heart of the national capital around 3.30 am, trapping many guests who were in deep sleep, a said.

The child as well as the two people who jumped are yet to be identified.

Preliminary investigation suggested a suspected short circuit may have sparked the fire, in which 35 people were injured, civic officials said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 20:00 IST