Visuals from Sarthana area of Surat where a fire broke out on the second floor of a building. Photograph:( ANI )
While the Surat Mayor has confirmed the death of eight people, several others are expected to have died inside the building.
At least 20 died following a major fire at a building in Sarthana area of Surat, Gujarat on Friday evening.
Surat Police Commissioner Satish Kumar Mishra had earlier confirmed the death of 15 people adding that the toll might go up.
The fire broke out on the second floor of a building in Takshashila Apartments.
Several people were also seen jumping from the top floor of the building as the fire raged. Students of a coaching centre situated in it were seen jumping off the building to escape the blaze.
The authorities have recovered four dead bodies from the site so far.
Around 18 fire tenders are battling the fire. The authorities have also called for hydraulic to control the fire.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has ordered an investigation into the incident and declared a financial help of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the victims. He also visited the hospital to meet the injured ones.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet sent out condolences for the affected families while praying for the recovery of the injured.
“Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected” Modi tweeted.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted "Deeply saddened by the loss of precious lives due to fire in Surat. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured."
(With inputs from agencies)