The death toll in the Surat coaching centre fire rose to 20 on Saturday, with one more student succumbing to burn injuries.
A major fire that broke out on the second floor of a Takshila Commercial Complex in Sarthana area of Surat on Friday had killed 19, most of them students. Among the dead was a teacher.
A short circuit is believed to have caused the fire. There were around 40 and 45 children in coaching centre. The students were aged between 14 and 17.
Reports said that seven students were battling for survival in hospitals. Two were on ventilator and five were admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
Videos of the incident being shared on social media show people, including students, trying to escape the fire by jumping off the engulfed floor. Some students died from the fall.
Around 18 fire tenders were rushed to the spot but reports citing locals say that they arrived late.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani visited SMIMER hospital where the injured were being treated late on Friday.
“I’m told that due to fire in the staircase, several people jumped from the 4th floor of the building to escape. Have ordered inquiry,” he said.
The CM also ordered a fire safety audit of schools, colleges and coaching centres.
Rupani had on Friday 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.
Reports say that the coaching centre was an illegal construction on the top floor of a multi-storey building.
The Surat police registered an FIR against three people, including the builders of the complex, Harshal Vekaria and Jignesh, and the owner of the coaching centre, Bhargav Bhutani. Two were arrested on Saturday in connection with the incident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday 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.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot too expressed condolences to families of those who died in the tragedy and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
“I pray peace for the departed souls and courage for their family members to bear the shock,” Gehlot said in a statement.
According to ANI, Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Friday 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.
As a precautionary measure, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation on Friday ordered the closure of 152 coaching classes in the city until issuance of NOC from the fire safety department.