New Delhi: The fire tragedy at a central Delhi hotel, where 17 people died, could have been averted if hotel staff had taken seriously the complaints of some Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) officials who were staying there.
HPCL official M. Muralimohan, who had left for the airport from the Arpit Palace Hotel in central Delhi's Karol Bagh area around 3 a.m., had informed the hotel staff about a burning smell in the hotel.
His colleague Ashok Kumar, who skipped his flight and returned to the hotel after he came to know about the massive fire in the hotel, told IANS: "Six of our team members had booked rooms in the hotel two days ago as we were here for an official assignment in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddha Nagar."
"Four of us left the hotel at 3 a.m. in the morning. While leaving the hotel premises, Muralimohan alerted the hotel management and their staff about some fire smell.
"But they took our warning casually resulting in the death of two of our colleagues - Pranav Kumar Bhaskar and E.V.S. Chalpati Rao," he said.