Devastating fire kills at least 34 in Indian capital

NEW DELHI: At least 34 people died on Sunday in a major fire that broke out in a building in a grains market in central New Delhi, a doctor in a government-run hospital said.

Dr Kishore Singh said the victims were brought to the hospital by rescuers. Another 15 people were being treated for burns or smoke inhalation. They are in stable condition, Singh said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Fire Services chief Atul Garg said the blaze was put out by 25 fire trucks and the rescue operation completed. He said that 56 people had been moved out of the area.

The fire broke out around 5:30 am.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the fire as ``extremely horrific."

``My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a quick recovery.," Modi tweeted. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy, he said.

Fires are common in India, where building laws and safety norms are often flouted by builders and residents.

In 1997, a fire in a movie theater in New Delhi had killed 59 people. In February this year, 17 people were killed by a fire in a six-story hotel, also in the Indian capital that started in an unauthorized rooftop kitchen.