Officials in western India say at least 19 students were killed when a fire broke out Friday in a tutoring center in the city of Surat in Gujarat state.
“The students lost their life both because of the fire and jumping out of the building,” Deepak Sapthaley, a fire official, told AFP, the French news agency.
The Associated Press reports that more than a dozen students have been hospitalized, suffering from burns or suffocation.
“I’m told the youngsters were trapped in the building as the fire destroyed the staircase,” said Vijay Rupani, Gujarat’s state’s top elected official.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is from Gujarat, said he was “extremely anguished by the fire tragedy.”