Fire in tutoring center kills 19 students in western India

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Gujarat government seeking a detailed report.

Fourteen students are still under treatment at four hospitals in Surat with three in intensive care units, official sources said. "Almost all big coaching institutes have fire safety system in place but smaller coaching institutes or tuition centres were found to be lacking proper fire safety system, such as emergency fire exit and fire staircase". Besides the establishment needs to have sufficient space for evacuation and operations of fire tenders as well.

Reports said there were no portable fire extinguishers inside the coaching center.

THE fire brigade arrived at the spot 45 minutes late, claimed witnesses as 23 people were killed after a fire broke out in a multi-storey building in Surat on Friday.

Horrifying images of students leaping from upper floors of the building on Friday afternoon have spread on social media. Speaking to ANI, a witness Prateek Kansara, said: "At least 22-25 children were rescued via stairs, while 20 others jumped".

"Several students on the fourth and third floor jumped off to the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke".

According to The Hindu, Surat Police Commissioner, Satish Sharma told that the police arrested Bhargav Bhutani, owner of the coaching centre in Sarthana area of Surat.

"The Delhi Fire Department is prepared for any tragedy like Surat".

Thennarasan said the SMC was holding the two officials responsible for leaving out the classes at Takshashila from this fire-safety drive.

The cause of the deadly inferno is not yet clear, though officials believe it was sparked off by a short circuit in a sweet shop in the building.

There was no safety equipment installed in the building and no escape routes for the students, a fire official separately said. Last November when a coaching class had caught fire that resulted in the death of one student and a teacher, the Surat Municipal Corporation had gone on an overdrive and sealed 11 tuition classes after checking 263 classes. PM Modi tweeted his anguish and asked the Gujarat government to provide all required assistance to those affected.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is from Gujarat, said he was "extremely anguished by the fire tragedy".

"My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly", he said.