A fire broke out on Sunday morning in the first floor of the three-storey hostel of Lancer International School in DLF Phase 5,Gurgaon,where 14 students,including six foreigners,were sleeping.
All the students,six of them Koreans,are safe. The students,aged between 12 and 15 years,were trapped in the hostel building as it was locked from inside, a Fire department official said.
He said a short circuit in an air-conditioner sparked the fire around 6 am. Security guards used ladders to reach the first floor and break window panes to rescue the students,he said.
The school administration dismissed the fire as a minor incident. There is a wing adjacent to the hostel where repairs were on. There was a short circuit there. The guards might have panicked and called the fire services. No student was trapped inside the hostel, school director Joginder Singh said.
The school authorities maintained that most of the students were out of their rooms,either having breakfast or doing their morning activities.
The school is closed because of the holidays (weekend and Eid). So,there were only a handful of students in the hostel, Singh said.
He said the school has fire-fighting equipment and the staff were trained to use them. We will look at the details and see how more safeguards could be adopted, Singh said.
But firefighters said the guards were not trained to use the equipment and had little knowledge on tackling such a situation.
It was a small fire,but the children and the guards panicked because of the thick smoke. Four fire-tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames which raged for nearly an hour, an official said.
The fire was brought under control within 25 minutes. There is a possibility that the staff present on the campus were not trained to handle such situations, Assistant Regional Fire Officer M S Bharadwaj said.