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Police: Short circuit likely caused deadly India hotel fire

A relative reacts as he undergoes the procedure with police for the release of the body of a person who died in hotel fire early Tuesday morning in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. A fire engulfed a shoddily built budget hotel in central New Delhi early Tuesday, killing 17 people and injuring at least four others, including a woman from Myanmar who leaped from an upper floor to escape the flames, Indian authorities said. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

NEW DELHI — Police say a fire at a budget hotel in India’s capital that killed 17 people was likely caused by a short circuit.

New Delhi Police Commissioner Amit Sharma said Wednesday that no foul play is suspected in the fire Tuesday that also left four people injured.

The Delhi government minister of health and urban development, Satyendar Kumar Jain, says most of the deaths at the Arpit Palace Hotel in Karol Bagh in central New Delhi were caused by suffocation.

The hotel developer had a permit from the fire department to build up to four stories. But the building appeared to have six floors, including an unauthorized kitchen Jain said was built from sheets of fiberglass on top of the roof.

Wood-paneled hallways and stairwells fed the flames.

The Associated Press