Surat coaching centre fire: Police orders shut down of tuition classes for now

Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma on Saturday addressed a press conference and said that 20 people have lost their lives and over 20 got injured in the fire that broke out a coaching centre in the city on Friday evening. Sharma added that an FIR has been registered against three people in connection with this case and they have arrested the man who used to conduct the tuition classes.

“20 people have died & more than 20 have been injured in the fire that broke out in Surat yesterday. An FIR has been registered against three people,” Surat police commissioner was quoted as saying by ANI.

Sharma also informed that all type of tuition classes in Surat have been stopped for now. He added that coaching centres will be allowed to restart classes only after obtaining the fire safety certificate. “All type of tuition classes have been stopped for now, classes can only be conducted after the required fire safety checks are done & a fire safety certificate has been obtained,” said police commissioner Sharma.

Initial investigations suggested that the incident was triggered by an electrical short circuit in the building. Sources said that it is feared that the death toll could increase. The fire broke out at a commercial apartment in Takshshila Arcade when at least 70 students were attending classes at an illegally run coaching institute. The centre ran coaching classes for Maths and Fashion Designing courses for 11th and 12th standard students. The coaching centre was run on the top floor of the building and a wooden staircase served as the only entry and exit route. The blaze soon engulfed the wooden staircase, blocking the escape points.

The videos of the shocking incident showed some students trying to jump off from the fourth floor of the building in an attempt to escape the fire. Some students, who got trapped in the building, died due to burn injuries and asphyxiation. Most of those who died were in the age group of 14 to 17 years.

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