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Tuesday
September 2019
10:20 AM IST
News Headlines
Pakistan recall Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad for uncertain Lanka series        Kohli holds on to 2nd spot as Smith retains number one position in ICC Test Rankings        Steve Smith 'proud' after summer of Ashes redemption        Some 46,000 General Motors auto workers strike in US        Sensex cracks nearly 300 pts; oil and gas stocks tank        Trump to join Modi in Houston to address 50K Indian-Americans, says White House        Car bomb kills 11 civilians in northern Syria: monitor        PM to visit Narmada dam on b'day to mark highest water level feat        Bribery case: CBI inspector surrenders before ACB        Centre should release funds for MP flood relief: Scindia        Cong, NCP to contest 125 seats each in Assembly polls: Pawar        21 Indians killed in 2,050 ceasefire violations by Pak this year: MEA        Government to rebuild Palarivattom flyover        CM demands PSC questions in Malayalam        Sourabh wins Vietnam Open Super 100 title        England close in on Ashes-levelling win after Broad double        Air India posts Rs 4,600 cr operating loss in 2018-19; aims operating profit this fiscal        SBI to move RBI to offer fixed-floating rate home-loans: Chairman        Hong Kong returns to violence with tear gas and Molotovs        36 people missing after boat sinks in Congo river: DRC police        
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Main News
Surat: 19 students die as fire engulfs commercial complex
 
Surat: A massive fire engulfed a four-storey commercial complex in Surat on Friday, killing at least 19 teenage students at a coaching centre, many of whom jumped and fell to their deaths while some were suffocated, officials said. In a video clip of the incident, some young students at the Takshashila Complex in Sarthana area, where the building is located, can be seen jumping off the third and fourth floors amid plumes of thick smoke. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said at least 19 students have died in the fire, but Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has put the figure at 20.

"As per the information received, 20 students have died in the fire. Many others were injured and shifted to a hospital," Patel said. Students, mostly teenagers, died "either due to suffocation or jumping off from the complex", he said. "We have ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident. We will not spare those found guilty," the deputy chief minister added. Coaching classes at the centre were run in a shade built on the top floor of the building, he said, adding that they "will check if the construction was illegal". Ninteen fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms were pressed into service to douse the fire, said an official of Surat fire control room.

Eye-witnesses claimed that there were around 50 students in the complex when the fire started. "Around 10 students on fourth and third floor jumped off to the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke," said a fire official. Locals helped in the rescue operation to save the stranded students and other occupants of the building. According to a fire official, flames started from the ground floor and reached the top floor, forcing some students to take shelter on the terrace which was covered. "Lot of smoke accumulated on the top floor where there were AC compressors and tyres which too caught fire. There was no escape route available for the students who got trapped on the top floors.

The fire was doused in one hour. There were no safety equipment installed in the building," a fire official told the media. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguished over the fire tragedy. "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," Modi tweeted. Rupani ordered the principal secretary of the Urban Development department to rush to the spot, conduct an inquiry and give a report within three days.

He expressed grief over the incident and declared a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the family members of the deceased. Meanwhile, municipal authorities in Ahmedabad ordered closure of all coaching classes till further orders to check whether they follow fire safety norms.


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KERALA NEWS
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21 Indians killed in 2,050 ceasefire violations by Pak this year: MEA
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