At least 19 people were killed when a major fire broke out on the second floor of a building in Sarthana area of Gujarat’s Surat on Friday.

The building, Takshila Commercial Complex, has a coaching centre and is in a prominent area of the city. Reports say that a class was on at the time of the incident and that some students and a teacher were among those killed.

Videos of the incident being shared on social media show people, including students, trying to escape the fire by jumping off the engulfed floor.

Around 18 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Firefighters were trying to douse the flames and rescue those trapped inside.

According to local media reports, the entire top floor of the building had been evacuated and no one was trapped in the fire any longer.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish on the incident and said that he has asked the state government 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,” he said.

 

Reports say that a short circuit may have caused the fire and that the death toll might go up.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani confirmed that children were among those dead. He also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the families of those who lost children in the fire.

“There has been an incident of fire in Surat’s coaching class in which small kids have died. This incident is very saddening. State Govt will give Rs 4 lakh financial help to families of kids who died. Children injured will be given proper and fast treatment,” he said.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda spoke to CM Rupani regarding the fire and assured all help.

According to ANI, the Union Minister also directed the AIIMS trauma centre director to render all help. A team of doctors from burn and trauma department of AIIMS Delhi has been constituted and put on alert.