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Fire at New Delhi hotel kills at least 17: officials

A fire at a hotel in New Delhi has killed at least 17 people, including a child, according to officials.

The blaze erupted in the early hours of Tuesday at Hotel Arpit Palace in a congested part of central New Delhi.

Fire brigade and police officials said the death toll had risen from nine to at least 17 people, with four others sustaining injuries.

After an hours-long operation, firefighters rescued 35 people from the hotel, most of which was engulfed in flames.

The cause of the fire was being investigated by authorities.

Images showed thick smoke and flames billowing out of the top floor of the hotel, popular with budget travellers.

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations.

In December, six people were killed when a fire engulfed a hospital in Mumbai, the capital of western Maharashtra state.

In 2017, 14 people were killed, also in Mumbai, when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant.

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