Gujarat: Death toll rises to 23 in Surat fire

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The death toll in the Friday’s horrific blaze in Surat’s coaching centre rose to 23 by Saturday, reports said.

Most of the students who were killed in the fire were between the age of 14 and 17.

According to the sources, the fire started at the ground floor and reached the top floor. Some students rushed to the terrace to escape the fire and found themselves stuck there.

Surat police has filed an FIR against three people including builders of the complex- Harshal Vekaria and Jignesh, and the owner of the coaching centre Bhargav Bhutan.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced financial help of Rs 4 lakh to victims’ families.

“Deeply saddened by the news of Surat fire tragedy. Instructed officials to do needful. My prayers are with all those affected. May those who have been injured recover at the earliest. I pray for the departed souls. Om Shanti,” Rupani said in a tweet.

Shocked by the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted, “Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy. 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.”

Several other leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President Amit Shah also condoled the death of the students.