19 Students Die in Surat Fire Tragedy
In Surat a fire broke out at the Takshashila Arcade. On the third floor there was a coaching class called Smart Design Studio. Many students were attending classes here. They were below the age of 18 and between the ages of 12 to 17. Many teenagers attended this coaching class. The fire broke out in one of the AC ducts due to a short-circuit. The students did not know what to do. They did not know whether to jump or not. Many jumped off the building. The fire brigade arrived at the spot but their ladders only reached the first floor. It could not reach the third floor. Those present at the site said that if the fire brigade had brought a life-saving net it would break the fall of those who jumped. They did not bring it. This is why many fell and died. Once the fire was extinguished the fire brigrade entered the classrooms and brought out the bodies of the 16 students who died. The bodies could not be identified since they were completely charred. Students were below the age of 20. Total 19 students died. Out of these, 16 were girls who died. The building broke several rules. They did not follow any rules. The building was permitted only one floor. The coaching class owners illegally constructed two more floors. On the terrace they even put up a makeshift dome. Officials are still not sure what the cause of the fire is. Many students tried to escape by taking the stairs. However the staircase was on fire and the students could not escape. On the roof of the terrace 50 tyres were found. This is very dangerous as once a tyre catches on fire it is very difficult to cool down. Plus the entire roof caught on fire. Deepak Sapthaley, a local fire official said that Many students started jumping out off the building thinking it would save their lives. However it could not save their lives. Many died. The Gujarat State Government ordered all educational institutions in Gujarat to shut down immediately. They have been told to conduct an inspection. They were told to check if proper exits are in classrooms and fire extinguishers are present or not. The Gujarat government has also promised Rs 4 lakh for the families who lost their children. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences on Twitter. He has told the local authorities to provide assistance. He has even asked the Chief Minister of Gujarat Mr Vijay Rupani for a report regarding the cause of deaths and the cause of fire within three days.