Firefighters try to control a major fire in a building housing a college in Surat on Friday. AFP
A video of the fire appeared on social media showing a man on the ledge trying to help students escape the building. Gulf Today could not independently confirm the identity of the man. Media reports suggested that the man saved the lives of two students.
Heaps of praise poured in for the man. One Twitter user said, “Salute to the man who saved 2 precious lives…”
"The students lost their life both because of the fire and jumping out of the building," Deepak Sapthaley, a fire official in the western city of Surat, told AFP.
Images showed blazing orange flames and black smoke billowing out of the building.
Sapthaley added that when the blaze began 50 or 60 people were inside the coaching institute on the top floor of the building, which is several storeys high.
The cause was not yet known.
Firefighters, police personnel remove a body from a building housing a college that caught fire in Surat on Friday. AFP
"The toll has jumped to 19 and includes 16 females. Sixteen persons died because of burns and three others from injuries after they jumped," Jayesh M Patel, medical officer at Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research, told AFP.
Officials had initially given a toll of at least 15 dead.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who comes from Gujarat state where the fire broke out, said on Twitter: "Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat.
"My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected."
Local officials said that the fire spread quickly because of the material used in the roof.
It started on Friday afternoon when classes were packed, mostly with teenagers.
Local media reports said the toll could still rise as many students were undergoing treatment at local hospitals.
Residents said the fire started on the 15th floor and a big column of black smoke soon enveloped the building. More than 90 people escaped the building on their own or helped by neighbours, they said.
The deaths occurred early on Wednesday when the temple chariot procession was underway in Thanjavur district, 340 kilometres (210 miles) south of Chennai, the state capital, police said.
The fire broke out due to a chemical reactor leaking monomethyl nitric acid — used for manufacturing several types of polymers — which caused an explosion on Wednesday night, Police Officer Rahul Dev Sharma said.
The authority stated, according to the decision on the control of entry and residence of foreigners, that in order to obtain an entry visa to visit a friend or relative, the foreigner coming to the country must be a friend or relative of a citizen, regardless of the degree of kinship, and that the foreigner coming to the country must be a first-degree or first-degree relative of a resident residing in the country.
An official associated with the case said, “Trump will be fingerprinted, a mug shot will be taken, investigators will complete arrest paperwork and do a check to see if he has any outstanding criminal charges or warrants. That all happens away from the public.”
Al Neyadi said on Twitter: “Water is a precious resource in space. It is used to create clean air by separating oxygen from hydrogen, and it is also recycled to provide a continuous supply of clean water."
A video clip that was widely circulated showed the former player of Al-Fayhaa Club, Al-Hilal and Al-Taawon, Malik Abdul Monaim, rushing to a car lined up in one of the neighborhoods of the city of Zulfi, to rescue a child inside a car as he was playing with fire.