20 young people died in the illegally constructed school in India.
26 May 2019

20 students killed in a school fire in India - the building frame was plastic


The owners of the school that caught fire in the city of Surat in western India on Friday are now suspected of manslaughter. 

A fire at a tutoring center in India left 20 students dead. Authorities say "more than double" that number were in the illegally-constructed building when the blaze broke out. CGTN's Shweta Bajaj in the video above has more details.

The school, which turned into a burning inferno within minutes last Friday, was illegally built on top of a business center, according to police. Several of the rooms were framed with plastic beams, and the plastics are thought to have accelerated the fire development.

19 people were found dead inside. A young man died later on Saturday in the hospital, bringing the total death toll to 20.

The vast majority of the victims were young women who were there to study for an exam, according to the police.

The fire started on the lower floors of a building in Surat that houses different academies. The flames spread rapidly to the upper floors. The 50 people estimated to be in the building at that time went up to the terrace , with a plastic cover that served as a greenhouse.

"A lot of smoke has accumulated and air conditioning cables and compressors from the terrace have started to burn, there was no escape," a firefighter told the Times of India . The images broadcast by the local press showed young people jumping through the windows .

Firemen trying to extinguish the fire in the school in India.