Minimum 20 people were killed and several others injured in a fire at a coaching centre in Sarthana area of Surat in Gujarat. The coaching centre was located on the third and fourth floors of the Takshashila Complex.
CM Vijay Rupani said at least 19 students have died in the fire, but Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has put the figure at 20. “As per the information received, 23students have died in the fire. Many others were injured and shifted to a hospital,” Nitin Patel said.
Students, mostly teenagers, died “either due to suffocation or jumping off from the complex”, the deputy CM said. “We have ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident. We will not spare those found guilty,” Nitin Patel said.
Horrifying visuals of the fire showed kids falling off the windows.
Reasons OF FIRE
An initial investigation suggests the fire was caused by a short-circuit. According to a fire official, flames started from the ground floor and reached the top floor, forcing some students to take shelter on the terrace which was covered.
“Lot of smoke accumulated on the top floor where there were AC compressors and tyres which too caught fire. There was no escape route available for the students who got trapped on the top floors. The fire was doused in one hour. There were no safety equipment installed in the building,” a fire official told the media.
Coaching classes at the centre were run in a shade built on the top floor of the building, Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel said, adding that they “will check if the construction was illegal”.
The fire official said that 19 fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms were pressed into service to douse the fire. It took an hour to contain the blaze.
Eye-witnesses claimed that there were around 50 students in the complex when the fire started.
“Around 10 students on fourth and third floor jumped off to the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke,” said a fire official.
Locals helped in the rescue operation to save the stranded students and other occupants of the building.
— Mayursinh (@apkajaddu) May 24, 2019
— Gaurav Omvir Singh (@GauravSingh1307) May 24, 2019
CM OFFICE ORDERS for INVESTIGATION
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an investigation into the incident. The chief minister has also declared financial help of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of children who died in this incident, an official statement from the CM office said.
Later in the day, Vijay Rupani visited the hospital to meet those injured in fire. “I am told that due to fire in the staircase, several people jumped from the fourth floor of the building to escape. Have ordered enquiry”.
Meanwhile, municipal authorities in Ahmedabad ordered closure of all coaching classes till further orders to check whether they follow fire safety norms.
Massive Fire at ine commercial Complex , Named तक्षशिला
in surat’s #sarthana Area .
Many Students were stuck.
A Brave man tried to rescue the Girls.
Pray &Hope for No big Injuries. #Surat #suratFire pic.twitter.com/h9XBWWVeui
— Hitesh Pandya (@Hiteshpandya21) May 24, 2019
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani visits hospital to meet those injured in fire at coaching centre in Surat; says, “I’m told that due to fire in the staircase, several people jumped from the 4th floor of the building to escape. Have ordered enquiry”. 20 people have died in the incident pic.twitter.com/h27hRa2Iav
— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2019
PM NARENDRA MODI EXPRESSES ANGUISH
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the incident and directed authorities to provide all possible help.”Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted.
Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 24, 2019
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also reacted on the deadly fire. “Deeply saddened by the loss of precious lives due to fire in Surat. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.
BJP chief Amit Shah also expressed his grief on the tragedy and asked BJP workers to provide all possible assistance.
Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a tragic fire accident in Surat, Gujarat. My condolences with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured. I urge our karyakartas of BJP Surat unit to assist the people in need.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 24, 2019
“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to a tragic fire accident in Surat, Gujarat. My condolences with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured. I urge our karyakartas of BJP Surat unit to assist the people in need,” Amit Shah said in his tweet.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted to express anguish on the incident and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.