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22 students feared dead in Kaduna stampede

Posted by From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna on 2005/11/15 | Views: 686 |

22 students feared dead in Kaduna stampede


CLOSE to 22 secondary school pupils are feared dead in a stampede linked to a fire outbreak in Kaduna yesterday.

CLOSE to 22 secondary school pupils are feared dead in a stampede linked to a fire outbreak in Kaduna yesterday.

Many other pupils of the All Saints International College located at Kagoro Close, on Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway (Western bye-pass), were also injured. They are receiving treatment in some hospitals in the area.

The stampede occurred yesterday when the school was on recess at 10.30 a.m. The incident was traced to an unidentified carpenter, who set fire on sawdust at his workshop.

On sighting the thick smoke which later covered their classrooms, the pupils rushed out, some of them jumping from the three-storey building still under construction.

The smoke, which engulfed the school premises, apparently made them to panic. The situation was made worse by the presence of only a staircase in the building. Many of them, therefore, decided to jump to safety from the top floors. Some of them fell headlong and died.

When The Guardian visited the School promises, most of the corridors were seen without railings which could have protected the pupils, aged between 10 and 15 years, from tumbling in an emergency situation.

Many of the injured pupils were immediately admitted at several private clinics and hospitals around Tudun Wada, while those whose cases were not serious were treated and discharged.

At the hospitals, only one doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity with journalists confirmed that "several students died" .

"I cannot tell you now how many because the toll may rise as some of the emergency cases are being attended to," he said.

Anxious parents rushed to the school in search of their wards. Armed policemen were also dispersing the crowd which gathered at the school.

Some of the pupils who were expected to write their examinations at the school had to be taken to Government College, Kaduna for the exercise.

The college's head teacher, Mr. Frank Omozuafor told journalists that he was not in the mood to comment on the incident.

"You can see that we are in a state of ensuring our students' safety," he said.

The proprietress of the college who was identified as Mrs, Akinwumi was said to have collapsed when she heard the news of the stampede.

"She is presently receiving medical attention," an official of the school said.

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