A fire broke out in Surat, Gujarat on Friday afternoon. This fire, caused by a short-circuit in a coaching center, has reportedly killed at least 20 people and injured twice the number. Most of these victims are students aged between 15 and 21.
FIR has been registered and the owner has been arrested
An FIR has been registered against three people and the owner of the building has been arrested, say the police. The fire was caused due to lax safety systems and improper evacuation routes for the people, sources say. An onlooker claims that escaping the scene of the fire was very difficult due to the lack of the presence of any proper exit path. Several students are now in trauma, most of whom were expecting their 12th Board Exam results sometime this week. Two of the injured students are on the ventilator and have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for proper care and treatment. The Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Vijay Rupani has already ordered a full-fledged probe into the matter, saying that the culprits will not go unpunished. In addition to this, financial aid of 4 lakh rupees will be provided to the families of those dead or injured severely in the fire.
People saying casualties could have been prevented if there was a timely response
Several people are also blaming the huge number of casualties on the late and unprepared response of the fire engines. It is being said that the fire engine took 45 minutes to cover a distance of hardly 2km, and even when they arrived, their sprays were not pressurized enough to be able to douse the flames. It is being said that if the firefighters had responded properly and in time, a lot of casualties could have been prevented. The fire department in Surat has been taking a lot of heat ever since the incident. Several eyewitnesses have held the tardy response of the fire engines equally culpable in the loss to life and property. Whether this is actually the case, though, will only be clear after the investigation.