At least 19 students die in fire in India

Over a dozen others in hospital with burns after blaze breaks out during tutoring class

 Indian firefighters work to douse a fire in Surat, Gujarat. Photograph: STR/EPA

Indian firefighters work to douse a fire in Surat, Gujarat. Photograph: STR/EPA

 

At least 19 students have been killed in a fire in a four-storey building in the western Indian city of Surat, police said.

Police officer Praveen Chaudhary said more than a dozen others had been admitted to hospital with burns.

The students were attending a tutoring class when the fire broke out, Mr Chaudhary said. He said all the students had been accounted for.

Fire officer Deepak Satkale said 24 fire engines battled the blaze, and authorities are investigating its cause.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the fire engulfed the third and fourth floors of the building, which is in a shopping district.

Television images showed some students jumping from the building to escape the blaze.

Prime minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the fire. “Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected,” he tweeted. – AP