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20 killed in fire at coaching class in Surat; CM orders fire safety audits

May 2019
Nearly 20 students have been killed and several injured after a major fire broke out at a coaching centre in Sarthana area of Surat yesterday. Reports suggest that though the Surat Municipal Corporation had conducted a fire audit on coaching classes in November, the rooftop establishment on Takshashila Complex had escaped the radar as it did not fit the definition of a coaching class.

The fire could have been reportedly started either from an air conditioner compressor or some electrical equipment in the classes. Thereafter, the fire started to spread out through the wooden stairway. The stairway is connected to the third floor to the terrace, where the classes were held. Reportedly, at least 10 students on the upper floors jumped to the ground to save themselves from the fire and smoke.

The injured are being treated at various hospitals near the incident site. Also, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced a compensation of Rs 0.4 million for the kin of the deceased. Besides, the Chief Minister has also ordered a fire safety audit of schools, colleges and coaching centres in the state. The audit is expected to find out if educational establishments in the state have proper equipment and facilities to deal with fire incidents. He said the fire audit would also cover hospitals, malls and other commercial buildings of major cities and towns in the state.