Three girls died and at least 15 others suffered injuries in a major fire that broke out at the Rashtriya Katha Shibir organised by Swami Dharambandhu at Pransla in Upleta area of Rajkot district in Gujarat late last night.
Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey told NetIndian over the telephone that the injured girls were admitted to a local hospital for treatment.
The fire broke out around 11.40 pm yesterday on the last day of the week-long camp, which had begun on January 6. More than 15,000 students -- boys and girls as well as their teachers and officials -- from all over the country had participated in the event.
The fire, which appeared to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit, quickly spread and destroyed more than 50 tents at the camp, which was located about 100 km from Rajkot city.
Dr. Pandey, the District Superintendent of Police and other senior officials rushed to the scene immediately.
Dr. Pandey said fire brigade men, posted at the camp as a precautionary measure, as well as reinforcements and other emergency personnel saved more than 300 girls from the affected tents.
The students had attended a cultural programme at the camp and finished dinner before retiring for the day when the fire suddenly broke out, he said.
He said the victims were in the 12-15 years age group.
Dr. Pandey said most of the students attending the camp had left for their homes and the rest would be leaving shortly. He said arrangements were also made for those who were rescued from the flames, because some of them appeared to have been scared by the experience.