20 Yabatech students hospitalised as fire razes hostel
About 20 students of Yaba College of Technology
(YABATECH), Lagos, were yesterday admitted to the
institution’s medical centre, following an early
morning inferno which gutted Bakassi Hostel of the
Some of the victims, described as Asthmatic
patients, passed out under the influence of the
heavy smoke while others sustained various degrees
of injuries while struggling to escape the fire. An
official at the medical centre, who craved anonymity,
said some of the injured students were discharged
“They were more than 20 who were admitted but
some of them only suffered shock and have been
discharged. Others are responding to treatment,” the
The fire broke out as early as 4:40a.m. owing to
power surge which was noticed by the students
immediately the generator was put on by the
maintenance department because of power outage.
According to some of the victims, who craved
anonymity, the noise of explosion from various
electrical sockets within the three-storey building
hostel had awoken the students from their sleep.
An HND 2 student, said to have lost her final year
project in the two laptops burnt in the inferno,
collapsed and passed. He was rushed to the medical
Another student, identified simply as Queen, also
passed out while struggling among her mates to
write down her details and her loss in the fire as
requested by the school management.
Meanwhile, various items such as vital documents,
cash, clothes, among other important items, were
lost to the incident. One of the victims, identified
simply as Rachel, lost N12,000, luggage and other
important items. She said:
“Thanks to the male students who are occupants ofAugustus Aikhomu Hostel who came to our rescue
by breaking windows and providing clothes for those
who had wrappers on them. It was a terrible
experience. In fact, there is only one exit staircase
and there was stampede, so many of us got
Also, a male student, who craved anonymity, said
the fire could not be extinguished on time because
the school’s fire truck had no water at the time and
those from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the
Lagos State government could not come in until
after about two hours.
He said: “As you can see, almost all the floors were
affected. All the items in the rooms and particularly
the upper floors were lost. You can see that there is
no roof again on the building. Some of us were
billed to sit for our examination today but it has
been postponed indefinitely.”
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the
college, Dr. Charles Oni, said in a statement that it
was not true that the tanker had no water.
Oni said the school called for more reinforcement to
immediately put out the fire and restore normalcy.
He said all academic activities including ongoing
first semester examination had been put on hold
until further notice.
The PRO also advised parents and other
stakeholders to remain calm “as the situation is
perfectly under control”.
The National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA) South-West spokesperson, Ibrahim
Farinloye, said 20 rooms were damaged extensively
while five rooms were partially affected on the top
The Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak
Fadipe, also confirmed the incident.
He said three fire trucks were deployed to the scene.
Some of the emergency agencies on ground are
NEMA, the Lagos State Emergency Management
Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Fire Service, UNILAG
and YABATECH fire services.