At least 19 students — most of them female — died Friday in a fire at an Indian building housing a college, officials said, as images showed people jumping to escape the blaze.

“The students lost their life both because of the fire and jumping out of the building,” Deepak Sapthaley, a fire official in the western city of Surat, told AFP.

Images showed blazing orange flames and black smoke billowing out of the building.

Today is very sad news for city #Surat
Today I am feeling very sad for those children…

— Nisha.Patel1011 (@NPatel1011) May 24, 2019

Sapthaley added that when the blaze began 50 or 60 people were inside the coaching institute on the top floor of the building, which is several storeys high.

The cause was not yet known.

“The toll has jumped to 19 and includes 16 females. Sixteen persons died because of burns and three others from injuries after they jumped,” Jayesh M Patel, medical officer at Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research, told AFP.

Officials had initially given a toll of at least 15 dead.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who comes from Gujarat state where the fire broke out, said on Twitter: “Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat.”

“My thoughts are with bereaved families. May theRead More – Source