New Delhi: At least nine girls died and 12 others were injured when the roof of a hostel caved in at a village 70 km away from Surat on Friday evening.
Around 24 people are still trapped in debris of the three-storey residential school called Adarsh Nivasi Shala in Tichakpura village. The building houses about 150 girls and 20 teachers, a Reuters report said.
"A rescue operation is on and teams are out in full force. The operation could go on well into the night but we don't think that more people have died," said Inspector K I Modi.
"The building was very old and at around 6 pm today it collapsed. Rescue operations are on and a proper probe will be conducted. There is little chance though of finding bodies in the debris. Parents of the girls have been informed," said Gujarat's Water Supply Minister Narrotam Bhai Patel.
District Magistrate Vatsala Vasudeva said many students escaped the accident, as they were eating dinner in an adjacent building or were out with their families to celebrate Republic Day.
A PTI report said the state government’s Scheduled Tribes Welfare Department had constructed the building.
Cranes and rescue workers, aided by huge floodlights and gas cutters, searched the debris looking for survivors. People from the village and nearby areas were helping rescue teams in clearing the debris<table width="248" border="0" align="left"> <tr> <td><table width="248" border="0" align="left"> <tr> <td><div align="center"><img src="http://www.ibnlive.com/pix/sitepix/01_2007/surat1.jpg" width="248" height="178" border="1"></div></td> </tr></table></table>