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.
The recent years have seen an alarming increase in forest fires across India. According to the Real Time Forest Alert System of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), the number of forest fires shot up to 14,107 from 4,225 between November 2018 and February 2019.The Forest Alert System is part of the Large Forest Fire Monitoring Programme
CRPF Constable Ajit Singh fired shot dead the three colleagues inside a camp in Battal Ballian area on Wednesday night after a heated exchange of words, a police officer said.
A fire broke out in a four-storeyed building on Friday in south Kolkata's bustling Chowringhee Road, an official said
The victims fell ill after consuming the liquor on Monday night and were taken to a hospital, where three of them died, Udai Bhanu Tripathi, a district magistrate, told Reuters, adding that two more died en route and 19 were being treated.
Fifty years after a mighty Saturn V rocket set off from Florida carrying the first humans to the Moon, a veteran of the Apollo 11 crew returned to the fabled launch pad Tuesday to commemorate the event that defined an era.
Pakistan’s airspace has been reopened to civil aviation with immediate effect, its aviation authority said on Tuesday, following months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff
A UAE official said on Tuesday that the oil tanker MT RIAH is not owned by the UAE.
Sharjah Police are still searching for an Indian boy, 15, who has been missing from his parents’ home for 13 days now. The boy did not take any of his personal belongings and left home with only Dhs8 of his daily pocket money, according to the boy’s father.