Students jump to death to escape from inferno

Students jump to death to escape from inferno
Highlights

19 students of coaching centre die in Surat

Surat: A massive fire engulfed a four- storey commercial complex in Surat on Friday, killing 19 teenage students at a coaching centre, many of whom jumped and fell to their deaths while some were suffocated, officials said.

Several injuries were also reported. TV channels showed horrific scenes at the Takshashila Complex in Sarthana area where the building is located, as students tried to save themselves by jumping out of windows.

"Eighteen students have died either due to suffocation or jumping from the building when fire engulfed the commercial complex," Gujarat minister of state for health Kishor Kanani said.

"We have ordered a detailed inquiry and anyone found responsible for the incident won't be spared," Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.

"Several students on the fourth and third floor jumped off to the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke. Many have been sent to hospital. The operation to douse the fire is on," said a city fire official.

A video clip aired by news channels showed students jumping off from third and fourth floor windows amid plumes of thick smoke rising from the building.

Nineteen fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms were pressed into service for dousing and rescue operations, Sarthana area of Surat, said an official of Surat fire control room

Local people helped with the rescue operation to save stranded students and other occupants of the building housing coaching classes and other establishments.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "extremely anguished" by the fire tragedy in his home state.

"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," Modi tweeted.

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