KOCHI: A pall of gloom descended on Panelil house at Cheranalloor on Tuesday morning as news spread that a raging blaze at a New Delhi hotel had claimed the lives of three members of the family.
Relatives and family friends rushed to the house in the morning, only to see the three houses locked as all the family members had gone to Delhi to take part in a wedding there.
As per information from the Delhi Police, Nalini Amma, 85, of Panelil, Cheranalloor, her son Vidyasagar, 60, and daughter Jayasree, 53, of Pazhanganattu, Chottanikkara, were among the 17 people who died in the hotel fire.
“We heard about the tragedy through television channels. We contacted our family members over phone and they confirmed the incident, “ said Manish, a relative of Nalini Amma.
“The family members had left for Delhi on February 7 to take part in the wedding function of Nalini Amma’s sister’s granddaughter. There were 13 members in the group. Jayasree’s son Harigovind, who works in Mumbai, also joined them in Delhi. All the 14 members stayed at Hotel Arpit Palace at Karol Bagh,” said Anu Das, a family friend.
Victims were asleep when fire broke out
“As per the information we got, fire broke out on the top floor of the hotel, around 4.30 am, on Tuesday. As all of them were sleeping, they were caught unawares and did not get enough time to escape. All the 10 others in the group are safe,” said Anu Das, a family friend.Though the function was over on February 8, the family decided to stay back to visit some tourist spots in and around Delhi and had booked return tickets for next Sunday. They were planning to vacate the hotel and proceed to Amritsar on Tuesday morning.
Nalini Amma had gone to Delhi along with her two sons - Vidyasagar and Somasekharan. Vidyasagar’s wife Madhuri, his son Vishnu, Somasekharan’s wife Beena, daughter Sudha and her husband Surendran were also in the group. Her another daughter Jayasree and her sons Harigovind and Gowrisankar, Nalini Amma’s sister’s daughter Saraswathi, her son Vijayakumar and his son Sreelesh had also joined the group. One of Nalini Amma’s sons, Sasidharan, had predeceased her.
Vidyasagar, who was an NRI, had returned from Kuwait and built a house near his ancestral home at Cheranalloor, where he was staying. Nair Service Society (NSS) Chottanikkara Karayogam president Surendran Nair said Jayasree was an active member of the organisation and she was keen on taking part in social service activities in the locality.