Two women and two men were killed on Monday in a major fire that broke out in a hotel in the Uttar Pradesh capital here that also left eight others in hospital.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Piyush Mordia told UNI, “Four persons have died in the blaze which started in hotel Levana Suites.”
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered a high-level probe into the incident and visited the Civil Hospital where the injured were admitted. The injured will be treated free, Adityanath said.
It is not yet clear whether the victims died due to burn injuries or suffocation, police sources said.
The fire likely broke out from the banquet hall on the first floor of the Levana Suites. Chaos raged in the area as several business establishments are located in the vicinity of the hotel.
Adityanath has directed Commissioner Lucknow Division and Police Commissioner Lucknow to jointly probe the cause of the blaze. Principal Secretary (Home) Sanjay Prasad issued a formal order as the police sealed the building for investigation purposes.
Police sources said that fire which started in the morning quickly engulfed the other floors of the hotel resulting in thick layers of smoke on every floor of the four-storied building.
Though the building has fire exit points, they were all blocked due to façade decoration. Firefighters and teams of SDRF made forced entry by smashing window panes and façade decoration to evacuate those trapped inside, they said.
Police sources said that welders and cutters along with the JCB machines were also used to break the walls down during the rescue operation which lasted for nearly six hours.
Those, who were taken ill, due to heavy smoke inside the building have been admitted to civil hospital where they are recuperating, they said.
Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak said that efforts were being made to establish the identity of those killed and added that stern action will be taken against whosoever is found guilty.
The sources said the fire broke out, possibly on the first or second floor of the hotel on Mahatma Gandhi Marg.
They also said it is being suspected that the fire broke out from the banquet hall located on the first floor.
Senior officers including District Magistrate Surya Pal Gangwar reached the spot immediately after the incident.
The DM said, “Around four to five persons have sustained injuries and have been taken to the Civil hospital.
The hotel has 30 rooms of which 18 were occupied. It is being said that 30 to 35 people were present when the fire broke out.”