The students were attending a class when the fire broke out in the four-story building, Chaudhary said. He said all of the students had been accounted for. Gujarat state's top elected official, Vijay Rupani, said 19 youngsters died in the fire.
"I'm told these youngsters were trapped in the building as the fire destroyed the staircase. Around three to four died after they jumped off the building," Rupani told The Press Trust of India. Two dozen fire engines battled the blaze, fire officer Deepak Satkale said. Authorities were investigating the cause of the fire.
The fire engulfed the third and fourth floors of the building in a shopping district, The Press Trust of India said. Television images showed students jumping from the building to escape the blaze, with thick smoke billowing from the building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was anguished by the fire. "Have asked the Gujarat Government and local authorities to provide all possible assistance to those affected," he tweeted. Building fires are common in India because of poorly enforced safety regulations.