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2 HPCL employees who were in Delhi to attend Petrotech 2019 die in Karol Bagh fire

PW Bureau

The two employees were in the national capital to attend the oil and gas international conference and were lodged in Hotel Arpit Palace where a fire broke out

New Delhi: Two Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) employees who were in the national capital to attend the mega oil and gas international conference, Petrotech 2019, died, while four other employees were seriously injured in the massive fire that ravaged the top two floors of the six-storey Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh early on Tuesday. A total of 17 people were killed in the fire.

An official from HPCL confirmed the news but refused to provide more details. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pardhan wrote on Twitter, “Deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Karol Bagh. Pained to learn that two of our @HPCL officials, Sh EVS Chalapathi Rao & Sh Pranave Kumar Bhaskar who were in Delhi to attend @Petrotech2019 lost their lives in this fire accident.”

He added, “May the almighty give strength to the families of the two @HPCL officers to bear the irreparable loss. Also wishing speedy recovery of all those injured.”

Emergency exits were closed

Meanwhile, a preliminary investigation has revealed that the hotel where a fire broke out was not following fire safety standards and its emergency exit doors used to be shut every night. Most of the victims were charred to death or suffocated by the poisonous fumes. At least three people lost their lives as they tried to jump off the building in order to save themselves.

Fire could have started with a short circuit

According to a source, the fire could have started because of a short circuit and it spread because of the wooden panelling in the hotel corridor and rooms.