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Short circuit triggered Surat building fire that claimed lives of 19 teens

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15 Indian Students Jump to Death as Building Turns Into Inferno (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Television footage broadcast on Friday by local media showed people jumping off the top floor of the Takshashila building or trying to escape by climbing down, as thick smoke billowed out.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter he was thinking of the bereaved families.

The fire engulfed the third and fourth floors of the Taxshila Complex here, official said.

Nineteen fire tenders and two hydraulic platforms had been pressed into service to douse the blaze, a fire services officer said, adding that the fire started on a wooden staircase on the second floor, the only means of exit from the building, forcing students to run up.

"The students lost their life both because of the fire and jumping out of the building", Deepak Sapthaley, a fire official, told AFP.

Speaking to ANI, a witness Prateek Kansara, said: "At least 22-25 children were rescued via stairs, while 20 others jumped". As many as 18 fire tenders took several hours to douse the rising flames in the building. "Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected", he tweeted. My condolences with the bereaved families.

PM: "The incident is very unfortunate", said Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.

PM: BJP President Amit Shah on Surat fire tragedy: "I urge our karyakartas of BJP Surat unit to assist the people in need". I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured.

"We have ordered a detailed inquiry and anyone found responsible for the incident won't be spared", Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said. Forensic experts are now trying to find the exact cause of the fire, he added. The exact number of people, who were trapped at the building is unclear, yet at least 120 students were registered for the class, according to local media.

He also announced a financial help of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the students who died.

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