At least 20 people, mostly students, were killed after a massive fire broke out at a coaching centre in Gujarat’s Surat on Friday afternoon, according to reports.


At least 20 people, mostly students, were killed after a massive fire broke out at a coaching centre in Gujarat’s Surat on Friday afternoon, according to reports.
Most of the students are said to be between the ages of 14 and 17.
Videos posted by witnesses on social media showed several students jumping out of windows on the top floor of the four-story building to escape the blaze.
“The fire started near the staircase, so they could not get down,” Joint Commissioner of Police Harikrishna Patel said. according to NDTV.

Disturbing visuals showed people on the pavement asking the students to jump off the burning building, hoping to catch them. Among those seen falling was a young child.
“Some of these students are critical but the crowd managed to save their lives,” Darshana Jardosh, the parliamentarian from Surat said.

The fire, which broke out at around 3:30 pm, engulfed the top two floors of the commercial building called Takshashila Arcade in the Sarthana area of Surat, Indian officials said.
“The toll has jumped to 19 and includes 16 females. Sixteen persons died because of burns and three others from injuries after they jumped,” a medical officer at Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research earlier told AFP.

About 50 or 60 people were inside when the fire broke out, covering the area in huge plumes of smoke.

The fire was likely caused due to an electrical short circuit, Mr Patel added.
19 fire engines were sent in to tackle the fire.
According to government statistics, more than 17,000 people died in fires in 2015 alone.


News Id: E14293