Ketan Jorawadia (Photo Source: ANI)
Ketan Jorawadia has become the new social media hero overnight after he managed to save the lives of over ten students who were trapped in Takshashila Arcade's razing fire in Surat on Friday. The deadly blaze which ripped through a coaching centre in the city's Sarthana area, left at least 20 children dead and several others injured. While many passersby chose to escape the spot in a hurry or click photos and shoot videos, Jorawadia had something else on his mind. Without wasting a second, he decided to risk his life and entered the razing building to save the trapped students inside.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Ketan said, "There was smoke. I could not figure out what to do. Meanwhile, a girl fell to the ground while trying to escape the blaze. I felt pained when I saw a 13-year-old falling on the ground. I was able to see the accident".
"I took the ladder. First helped the children get out of the place, managed to save 8-10 students from the back side of the building. Later I managed to rescue two more students. I rescued as many students as I could have," he added.
Jorawadia, who has won millions of hearts with his brave act, still expressed regret over not able to save many others who lost their lives in the inferno. He also expressed dismay over the nonchalant attitude of the local administration, saying "Fire brigade reached around 40-45 minutes after the fire took place".
"They took some time in parking fire tenders. Fire brigade people did not have sufficient equipment. If they were having something like a net, some students could have saved their lives by jumping on it," he went on to claim further.
In a video clip of the incident, emerged on the internet, several students were seen jumping off the building to escape the inferno. Some people were unable to escape and died on the spot. As the rescue operations were carried out, charred bodies were found. The fire was reportedly triggered by a short circuit.
The police have arrested the coaching centre's operator Bhargav Bhutani, the main accused in the inferno after registering an FIR against him and the owners of the building - Harshal Vekaria and Jignesh Padgal. Efforts are on to nab the two other accused, who are still absconding, police said on Saturday.
(With inputs from agencies)