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Surat fire LIVE Updates: Death toll climbs to 22, coaching class owner held, 2 on the run

Surat coaching centre fire LIVE Updates: Most of the students killed in the fire were expecting their Class XII results Saturday. Not being able to find a way out, many of those trapped inside jumped off the building to escape the blaze.

Surat coaching centre fire LIVE Updates: Most of the students killed in the fire were expecting their Class XII results Saturday.

A day after a fire at a coaching centre killed 20 students, Surat Police on Saturday arrested one of the three accused who ran the tution classes. The other two are absconding. An FIR has been registered against them for culpable homicide. Municipal corporations across Ahmedabad and Vadodara also ordered all coaching centres in these cities to be closed till further orders. Rajkot civic body, meanwhile, has directed its officials to seal all such premises where fire-fighting equipment was not in place. Surat’s hero Ketan Chodvadiya risks life to save students

Most of the students killed in the fire that broke out on the rooftop of Takshashila Complex were expecting their Class XII results Saturday. Not being able to find a way out, many of those trapped inside jumped off the building to escape the blaze. While the Surat Municipal Corporation had conducted a fire audit on coaching classes in November, the rooftop establishment on Takshashila Complex escaped the radar because it “did not fit the definition of a coaching class”.

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told The Indian Express that the fire is suspected have started either from an air conditioner compressor or some electrical equipment in (one of) the classes. The fire then spread through the wooden stairway, which connected the third floor to the terrace, where the classes were being held. SEE PICS

 

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Twenty students were killed after a fire broke out at a coaching centre in Surat. Follow LIVE Updates

Delhi Fire Department to conduct audit of coaching institutes in national capital

The Delhi Fire service is planning to conduct an audit of all coaching institutes running in the national capital from Monday to avert Surat-like fire tragedy in which at least 22 students died, officials were quoted as saying by PTI. 

However, small coaching institutes, which are functioning in buildings below 15 metres, do not come directly under the fire department's jurisdiction, a senior official.

"Small coaching institutes do not come directly under our jurisdiction, but still we will start from Monday inspections of coaching institutes which are functioning in buildings above 15 metres and facts will be checked whether they have applied for license and if not, notice will be issued against them," Delhi chief Fire officer Atul Garg said.

The process has been initiated and the department will issue a public notice soon and buildings which are found to be violating norms will be checked, a senior fire officer said.

Guj Cong dubs Surat fire incident as murder, asks CM to quit

Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda Saturday visited Surat to meet the bereaved kin of 22 students who were killed in a massive fire in a commercial complex in the city's Sarthana area, and claimed it was not an accident but "murder due to negligence of the administration".

Congress leader Hardik Patel too termed the incident as "murder" and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, PTI reported.

Apart from Chavda, leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Paresh Dhanani also visited the city Saturday morning and took part in the last rites of the deceased students.

On Friday afternoon, a blaze in the four-storeyed Takshashila Enclave killed 22 students of a coaching institute imparting art and craft training.

NHRC notice to Guj govt over death of children in Surat fire

The NHRC Saturday sent a notice to the Gujarat government over the fire tragedy in Surat in which 22 students died in a massive blaze at a commercial complex in Sarthana area of the city, officials were quoted as saying by PTI. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also observed that mere announcement of compensation to the aggrieved families cannot be a solution to such kind of hazards.

Three of the 22 students who died in the fire in the ill-fated Takshila Complex on Friday had appeared for the Class 12 Board examinations and had cleared them comfortably, as per results that were declared Saturday. Among the dead, 18 are girls, the youngest being 15 years of age and the eldest just 22, police said. The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident, it said in a statement.

Toll in Surat fire climbs to 22, coaching class owner held, 2 on the run

The toll in the devastating fire that engulfed a commercial complex in Surat's Sarthana area has gone up to 22 with two more students succumbing to burn injuries, a senior police official said Saturday, PTI reported. Surat police spokesperson and assistant commissioner of police P L Chaudhari on Saturday identified the two deceased students, both teenagers, as Karnavi Sitapara and Dhruvi Ribadiya.

Both were undergoing treatment in separate hospitals, he added.

"As per the latest information, two teenage girls have died today, taking the toll to 22, including 18 girls and four teenage boys. A child about 3-4 years-old received burn injuries in the incident and is currently hospitalised," said ACP Chaudhari.

"Majority of the victims were in the age bracket of 17 to 18. They were students of a coaching institute imparting art and craft training on the third floor of the ill-fated Takshashila Enclave in Sarthana area," he said.

Surat fire incident unfortunate, have asked for a report: Gujarat CM Rupani

A day after the fire incident at a coaching centre in Surat, which claimed the lives of 20 students, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani termed the incident as unfortunate. He said that an investigation committee has been constituted and the Urban Secretary has been asked to file a report. He said that a builder and manager have been arrested in the case. Meanwhile, ANI reported that Surat Deputy chief fire officer SK Acharya and Fire officer Kirti Modh have been suspended.

3 of 20 students dead in Surat fire clear Class XII exams

Three of the 20 students who died in a massive blaze at a commercial complex in Sarthana in Gujarat's Surat on Friday had appeared for the Class XII Board exams and had cleared them comfortably, as per results that were declared Saturday, reports PTI. Among the dead, 16 are girls, the youngest being 15 years of age and the eldest just 22, said police.

A child between 3-4 years old received burn injuries in the incident and is currently hospitalised, said Surat police spokesperson P L Chaudhari. Police said Bhargav Bhutani, who was running the coaching class on the third floor of the ill-fated Takshshila Complex, has been arrested Saturday.

Surat police commissioner visits the incident site

IN PICS: At least 20 killed as flames engulf Takshashila complex

While the Surat Municipal Corporation had conducted a fire audit on coaching classes in November, the rooftop establishment on Takshashila Complex escaped the radar because it “did not fit the definition of a coaching class”. Click here for PICS

From flood to fire: Surat’s hero Ketan Chodvudiya risks life to save students

Even before authorities arrived at Takshshila Arcade in Surat, where a massive fire killed at least 20 students, some brave-hearts were the first to offer help and aid in the rather risky situation. Ketan Chodvudiya, for one, risked his own life to save others.

A video of the 22-year old standing precariously on the ledge of the three-storey building, holding on to his life, and trying to help other students escape went viral Friday. Ketan courageously climbed up the burning building to help students stuck on the top floor of the Takshshila arcade climb down. Read full story here

Surat fire: Latest visuals from the site where fire broke out

Surat hero Ketan lauded for risking life to save students from fire

Surat's Ketan Jorawadia is being hailed for risking his life in order to save others. Putting his own life at risk, Ketan perched himself on a ledge and saved students who were trying to jump off the building. Read more

How Takshashila Complex and its coaching centre escaped scrutiny

The Takshashila Complex comprises a ground floor, mezzanine floor, first floor, second floor and a top floor covered by a dome, which was a duplex. The first three floors of the building had shops and offices and the top floor duplex housed a gymnasium and spaces where summer classes were conducted. A fashion designing course, a personality development course and other courses were offered as summer classes. One of those for class X and class XII was being run by one Bhargav Patel. Owners of two other coaching classes for design and architecture have not been identified. The top floor also housed a vedic maths coaching centre run by a certain Rajeev Patel.

Upadhyay says, “The fourth floor of Takshashila complex houses Aloha (a tutoring centre for vedic mathematics) that does not fall under the definition of a coaching class.” This meant that the centre was not checked for fire safety compliance during the December-January period, nor was any notice issued.

Surat fire: Three incidents in past six months, govt caught snoozing on rules

Friday’s fire in Surat comes as a rude reminder that the state government has learnt no lessons from the repeated incidents of fire in the past six months at coaching centres in Surat and Ahmedabad. Despite inquiries announced in the past, the government failed to institute measures to prevent coaching centres from being run in unsafe buildings. Read more

Inspection of coaching centres to beginin Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar district administration has decided to start inspection of all tutorials, training centres and libraries from Saturday to check the compliance of fire-safety and town-planning rules. Gandhinagar Collector S K Langa said that they are forming teams, comprising officials from the fire services, town planning and revenue departments to inspect all these establishments. “Legal actions like sealing or closure will be taken against any violation of rules. We will also take the help of the elected representatives of the concerned area in this exercise,” he said, adding an awareness campaign will be launched, asking guardians not to send their wards to any such establishment that lacks safety measures.

FIR registered, man who held classes arrested

A day after fire broke out at the coaching centre, Surat Police has arrested the man who ran the tuition classes, reports news agency ANI. Quoting Satish Sharma. Commissioner of Surat Police, the agency also added that an FIR has been registered against three people.

Surat fire tragedy: Class XII students pray for the departed

Class XII tudents in Gujarat pay condolences to those who lost their lives yesterday in the Surat fire tragedy, in Ahmedabad (Express Photo/Javed Raja)

Fire brigade came after 40-45 minutes: Eye-witness outside Surat coaching centre

An eye-witness outside the coaching centre alleged that the fire brigade came close to an hour after the blaze broke out.

Nobody tried to save those jumping from building: students who escaped unhurt

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.”

Surat coaching centre fire: Most students were awaiting Class XII results today

Most of the students killed in the fire were attending coaching classes and were expecting their Class 12 results Saturday. the said to be between the ages of 14 and 17.  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.

Visuals from Surat fire incident site

Surat coaching centre fire: Most were awaiting Class XII results today

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.

Read more here

How Takshashila Complex and its coaching centre escaped scrutiny

After a November fire claimed two lives, the Surat Municipal Corporation had conducted a drive to check coaching classes for fire safety compliance. However, the rooftop establishment on Takshashila Complex escaped the radar because it “did not fit the definition of a coaching class”.

SMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner NV Upadhyay said, “Following the fire, inspection on 252 tuition classes were initiated. By January-end, 185 were issued show-cause notices. Subsequently, those issued notices worked on the directives of the fire department and complied with them. Three were shifted out as they were incapable of compliance due to factors such as location.”

As reported by The Indian Express in December, the SMC fire department had sealed seven tuition centres in Surat for lack of compliance with fire safety norms. Read more here

Gujarat: No policy in place three incidents in past 6 months

Friday’s fire in Surat comes as a rude reminder that the state government has learnt no lessons from the repeated incidents of fire in the past six months at coaching centres in Surat and Ahmedabad. Despite inquiries announced in the past, the government failed to institute measures to prevent coaching centres from being run in unsafe buildings.

Just six months ago, on November 26, a fire at a coaching centre in Vesu area claimed two lives — of seven-year-old Manthan Jadav, who died of asphyxiation and a 42-year-old female teacher who succumbed to injuries a few days later. Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama at the time said his department was working on a policy to mandate that coaching centres obtain requisite permissions before starting operations.

Surat coaching centre fire: Most were awaiting Class XII results today

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.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot condoled fire incident in Surat

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condoled the death of those who died in the tragedy and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured. "I pray peace for the departed souls and courage for their family members to bear the shock," Gehlot said in a statement. (PTI)

Gujarat: Around 50 students were trapped inside the building

According to a fire official, flames started from the ground floor and reached the top floor, forcing some students to take shelter on the terrace which was covered. Eye-witnesses claimed that there were around 50 students in the complex when the fire started. "Around 10 students on fourth and third floor jumped off to the ground to save themselves from fire and smoke," said a fire official. Locals helped in the rescue operation to save the stranded students and other occupants of the building. (PTI)

CM Vijay Rupani visits injured in SMIMER hospital

CM Vijay Rupani visits injured in SMIMER hospital.

Vijay Rupani declares financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to kin of deceased

Rupani ordered the principal secretary of the Urban Development department to rush to the spot, conduct an inquiry and give a report within three days. He expressed grief over the incident and declared a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the family members of the deceased. (PTI)

CM Vijay Rupani visits hospital to meet those injured in Surat coaching centre fire

CM Vijay Rupani visits hospital to meet those injured in Surat coaching centre fire.

Amit Shah expresses condolences towards victims and their families

Amit Shah expresses condolences towards victims and their families.

Vadodara MC tells 152 coaching classes to remain shut till they acquire fire NOC

In wake of the Surat fire incident, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation Friday issued an immediate notice to 152 coaching classes in the city to remain shut until they acquire NOC from the fire safety department. Read more...

Mohammed Azharuddin expresses condolences towards Surat fire victims

Former cricketer and Congress leader Mohammed Azharuddin expressed condolences towards students who were killed in Surat Fire incident.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda directed AIIMS trauma centre director to render all help

Union Health Minister JP Nadda spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani regarding the fire at coaching centre in Surat and assured all help. Nadda also directed the AIIMS trauma centre director to render all help. A team of doctors from burn & trauma department of AIIMS Delhi has been constituted and put on alert.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda directed AIIMS trauma centre director to render all help

Union Health Minister JP Nadda spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani regarding the fire at coaching centre in Surat and assured all help. Nadda also directed the AIIMS trauma centre director to render all help. A team of doctors from burn & trauma department of AIIMS Delhi has been constituted and put on alert.

Rescue operation underway at Taxshila Complex, Surat

Rescue operation underway at Taxshila Complex, Surat. (Express Photos: Hanif Malik)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi wishes early recovery of those injured in Surat fire

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi expressed condolences towards victims' families and prayed for early recovery of those injured.

Surat fire: Vijay Rupani shares video expressing condolences towards victims, their families

Vijay Rupani shares video expressing condolences towards the victims of the Surat fire tragedy and their families.

Surat fire: At least seven people trapped inside the Surat building tried to jump out

At least seven people trapped inside the building tried to jump out.

Vijay Rupani expresses condolences.

Vijay Rupani expresses condolences.

Gujarat Chief Minister orders probe into Surat coaching centre fire

Gujarat Chief Minister orders probe into Surat coaching centre fire.

Rescue operation underway at Surat's Taxshila Complex, Gujarat, on Friday. (Express Photo: Hanif Malik)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences towards the victims' families and prayed for early recovery of the injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences towards the fire tragedy victims and their families.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani too expressed his condolences towards the bereaved families and said to have instructed officials to look into the matter. Sharing a video on Twitter, he wrote, "Deeply saddened by the news of Surat fire tragedy. Instructed officials to do needful. My prayers are with all those affected. May those who have been injured recover at the earliest. I pray for the departed souls. Om Shanti."He also visited the injured in the hospital and took stock of the situation. Rupani said that he has ordered a probe into the matter and declared financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the family members of the deceased.