Dinesh Kevadia heard from his daughter Yashvi at around 5.30 pm Friday. She called to tell him about a fire in the building where she attended coaching classes for fashion design. After that, her phone was switched off.
At least 20 students, the oldest aged 21, were killed, on the terrace of the Takshashila complex in Surat Friday after a fire engulfed the building. But hours after the fire was doused, Yashvi is still listed “missing”. Most of the students killed in the fire were attending coaching classes, like Yashvi, and were expecting their Class 12 results Saturday.
A Class 12 commerce student, Yashvi’s body was found charred from inside the building. “She called me at 5:30 pm. telling me about the fire. After that, when we tried to reach her, her phone was switched off. She was expecting her board results and wanted to become a fashion designer,” said her father, Dinesh.
Her younger brother said: “We will register a case against the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd (DGVCL) as the fire broke out from the distribution panel.”
Janvi Vasoya, a 17-year-old Class 12 student, who was also killed in the fire was gifted a watch by her uncle Bharat Vasoya a few days ago. That’s how her family identified her, Bharat recognised the watch on the wrist of an unrecognisable body late Friday evening.
According to officials, eleven other teenagers also died of burns injuries of which nine were girls. Three others – Khushali Kiritbhai Kokadiya (17), Krishna Sureshbhai Bhekariya (21) and Rutu Ishwarbhai Doda (18) – were killed when they jumped off the building to escape the blaze.
At least three students, Karishma Sonkar, Dhruvi Bhudiya and Nidhi Lalhani, who escaped the fire unhurt said, “We could see people standing outside shooting videos but nobody was trying to save those jumping from the building. They could have could have saved one of our classmates, Vanshvi.”
The anguish was evident outside the building where people asked angry questions about how the coaching centres were allowed to run and pointed fingers at the fire brigade alleging they were not equipped well.
A social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter has also been initiated to seek blood donations for those injured. Of the injured. four are said to be in a stable condition having sustained minor injuries, two are in ventilator while five are admitted in the ICU.
— With inputs from Aishwarya Mohanty