Surat: At least 18 students of a coaching class were killed when they jumped off a commercial complex after it caught fire Friday afternoon, Gujarat Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said.
The fire engulfed the third and fourth floor of the Taxshila Complex here, he said.
Visuals on TV channels showed students jumping off the third and fourth floors of the building. The total number of deaths is likely to rise,
A fire official said 19 fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms were pressed into service to douse the fire.
Locals were seen helping in the rescue operation to save stranded students as well as other occupants of the four-storey building. According to reports, most students were said to be aged between 14 and 17 years.
"Students on fourth and third floor jumped off to 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," said a fire official.
In a video clip of the incident, some young students can be seen coming out of the windows of a coaching class and jumping off from the third and fourth floors amid thick smoke coming out from the building.
As per media reports, the fire broke out after a short circuit.
Over 50 students were said to attending tuition class when the tragedy occurred, sources told the media, adding that more than a dozen had been rushed to hospital for treatment.
An investigation has been ordered into the incident and the state government has promised to give Rs 4 lakh to each of the families of those killed.