Surat fire: 20 dead in blaze at commercial complex; Gujarat govt announces Rs 4 lakh ex gratia to victims' kin

At least 20 people died when a fire broke out at a building in a commercial complex of Surat's Sarthana area, media reports said on Friday.

In a video clip of the incident flooding social media, several students of a coaching class were seen jumping off the third and fourth floors of the structure amid a thick cloud of smoke. ANI reported that 18 fire tenders were pressed to the spot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on the incident, saying that he has told the Gujarat government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani ordered an investigation into the incident and announced financial aid of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of children who died. Later on Friday, Rupani visited the hospital to meet those injured in the fire. "I'm told that due to fire at the staircase, several people jumped from the fourth floor of the building to escape," he said.

PTI quoted a fire official as saying 19 fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms were pressed into service to douse the fire. "Around 10 students on fourth and third floor jumped off on the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke. Many have been rescued and sent to hospital. The operation to douse the fire is on," he said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted he was "deeply saddened" by the incident.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: May 24, 2019 22:19:18 IST