The fire, which broke out at around 3:30 pm, engulfed the top two floors of the multi-storey commercial building called Takshashila Arcade in the Sarthana area of Surat.
The building was a commercial complex which also housed a tuition centre that catered to school children from Class 9 to Class 12. Reports suggest since the summer vacations were on, the students who were preparing for their Class 10 and Class 12 boards exams were in the coaching centre at the time of the incident.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. The fire, however, has been put out.
Disturbing visuals showed people on the pavement asking the students to jump off the burning building, hoping to catch them.
Source: The Indian Express
2 students are critically injured and have been admitted to the hospital.
Parliamentarian from Navsari, CR Patil told NDTV that the coaching centre was being run illegally.
An investigation has been ordered into the incident and the state government has promised to give Rs. 4 lakh to each of the families of those killed.
The owners of the building are on the run, police officials said. It did not have a functioning fire escape.
Bhargav Bhutani, the owner of the surat coaching center where a fire killed at least 20 students has been. arrested. Surat police had filled an FIR against three people including builders of the complex and the owner of the coaching center.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered a fire safety audit of schools, colleges, coaching centres, hospitals, malls and other commercial buildings across the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has directed the state government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected.