The Jharkhand cricket team, including its skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, today escaped unhurt after a fire broke out in a five star hotel complex in Dwarka here, leading to postponement of the Vijay Hazare Trophy semi final against Bengal.
Dhoni along with his teammates was having breakfast at the team hotel, ITC Welcome, when they were evacuated on a SOS basis. Around 540 guests were staying at the hotel, according to police sources.
"Yes, it was scary as a fire broke out early in the morning. We were evacuated and brought to the ground. Luckily, the main cricket kits were kept at the Palam ground only so they are safe.
"Now that we are shifting, I can confirm that there has been no damage to our personal belongings also," Jharkhand coach Rajeev Kumar said.
A Jharkhand player told PTI, "When we were having breakfast at the restaurant… Suffocating smell of the smoke alarmed us. We ran for our lives ."
Both teams were at the ground but since the Jharkhand players were mentally disturbed, the BCCI had to give them a day's time to get into a proper frame of mind, a BCCI match official said.
The match that was supposed to be held at the Airforce ground in Palam has been rescheduled at Feroz Shah Kotla tomorrow after match referee Sanjay Verma announced the postponement.
The BCCI, in a statement, said all the players and match officials are unhurt and safe.
A senior official from the Delhi Fire Services said, "A call was received around 6.30 AM about a fire breaking out at Welcome Hotel. Thirty fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was doused by 9.45 AM".
Police said that the fire broke out in a Reliance showroom in the hotel complex. Further investigation is underway to ascertain the cause of the fire.
"The cause of the fire hasn't yet been ascertained. Around 31 rooms were booked by Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand teams respectively. Investigation is underway to know what triggered the fire," said a senior police officer.
The Hotel said in a statement, "Fire broke out in the shopping mall, adjacent to the hotel. In keeping with our safety and security guidelines, as a precautionary measure, we evacuated all our guests. There were no casualties recorded at the hotel."
Late in the afternoon, Dhoni and his Jharkhand teammates were shifted to a five-star facility in Lutyens Delhi.