A day after the Friday’s devastating blaze in Surat, the death toll rose to 23 by Saturday, even as seven students battled for survival in hospitals, officials said. The police have arrested a man in connection with the fire occurred at a coaching centre when classes were underway.
Most of the students who were killed in the fire at an arts coaching centre on the top floor of a four-storey building were between the age of 14 and 17. Some were expecting their Class 12 results on Saturday.
The man who has been arrested used to run the tuition classes at the coaching centre, Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma said.
The city police chief has also announced that instructions have been issued to shut all tuition classes for now.
“All type of tuition classes have been stopped for now. Classes can only be conducted after the required fire safety checks are done and a fire safety certificate has been obtained,” Sharma said as reported by TimesNow.
An FIR has been registered against builders of the complex – Harshal Vekaria and Jignesh – and the owner of the coaching centre – Bhargav Bhutani by the Surat Police.
The FIR has been filed in Sarthana police station, under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code.
Here is the footage of Friday’s tragic incident:
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani yesterday ordered a probe and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
“Twenty people have lost their lives in the tragedy in spite of our rescue efforts. Students, aged around 20 years, were trapped in the coaching centre when the fire broke out in the stairway,” Rupani had said yesterday.