Death toll in Surat fire reaches 20; owner arrested

Surat | At least 20 students died and 20 were injured when a commercial complex in Surat’s Sarthana neighbourhood caught fire on Friday, Surat police commissioner Satish Sharma said.

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 have been 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.

An FIR has been registered under IPC sections 304 and 308. The one conducting the tuition classes has been arrested.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered the principal secretary of the Urban Development department to rush to the spot.

He also declared financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each for the family members of those who died in the incident.

Meanwhile, 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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