Surat is a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. It used to be a large seaport and is now a center for diamond cutting and polishing. It is the eighth largest city and ninth largest urban agglomeration in India. It is the administrative capital of the Surat district. The city is located 284 kilometers south of the state capital, Gandhinagar; 265 kilometers south of Ahmedabad; and 289 kilometers north of Mumbai.
On 24 may 2019 near about 3:45-4:00 pm a terrible accident happened at complex in Sarthana area of Surat. At least 22 students were killed and several others injured in a fire. The coaching Centre was located on the third and fourth floors of the Takshashila Complex. Students, mostly teenagers, died either due to suffocation or jumping off from the complex. Horrifying visuals of the fire showed kids falling off the windows. In a video clip of an incident, some of the students, can be seen jumping off the third and fourth floors amid plumes of thick smoke. It was difficult to confirm
the number of students who died. Chief minister Vijay Rupani said at least 19 students have died, but deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has put the figure at 20. Later it was confirmed that 22 students has died, 18 girls and 4 boys, aged between 15 and 22. Of these, 16 students died due to fire or asphyxiation, 3 died when they jumped from the building, and 3 succumbed to their fire injuries later in hospital.
The fire was started by an electrical short circuit on the ground floor, the students in the coaching Centre were trapped by the destruction of a wooden staircase on the rear side of the building. The fire quickly spread, engulfing the third floor and the makeshift dome on the terrace of the building. There were about 50 to 70 students in the coaching Centre at the time. Two shops and several vehicles parked near the building were also destroyed in another fire ignited by the blaze.
The complex was built illegally in 2007, in 2013 Government legalized the second floor, but the third floor was not legally approved. More than 50 burnt tires were also found on the terrace.There was no fire safety equipment in the building. The students were trapped because the only way to the top floor was a wooden staircase which was destroyed by the fire. Two fire officers were suspended for their alleged negligence in conducting the fire safety inspection of the building. Three people including the coaching Centre owner and builders were arrested because of their negligence leading to the fire and the deaths. And the complaints against them were filed by the police. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupanihad also ordered the investigation under Additional Chief Secretary of the Urban Development Department Mukesh Puri.