20 Yabatech students hospitalised as fire razes hostel

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

official said.

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

most floor.

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.