By Daniel Dafe
Students of Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, residing in the Postgraduate Hostel located in Site III of the campus in Abraka, are grateful to God that no life was lost to the inferno that gutted the 3-storey-hostel building in the early hours of today, February 14, 2020.
According to our findings, an early alarm raised by residents in a nearby hostel, NDDC Hostel, gave the needed time to the affected hostelers to whisk themselves to safety.
We also gathered that the bravery of students, who put out the fire at the risk of their lives, prevented the fire from spreading from the female to the male section of the hostel.
Eyewitnesses said that residents at the top floor just like other occupants left behind their phones, laptops and vital documents such as certificates that were destroyed in the inferno.
While some blame the incidence on an electrical fault, others said they heard gas cylinders explode which could be responsible for the ugly incidence.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Andy Egwunyenga, who visited the scene, accompanied by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Admin, Prof. Austine Asagba, the University Librarian, Professor Stephen Uwaifo, the Bursar, Mr. Justice Egbare and the Dean of Students, Prof. Augusts Atubi, while addressing students, praised the heroism of the students that prevented the fire from destroying the whole building.
He added: “I express my sympathy for the event of last night. It is very unfortunate that fire started here and incurred a lot of damage. But, even in this situation, we want to thank God for his mercy that there is no fatal casualty, no reported deaths and no serious injuries. The only two or three students that had slight bruises were quickly treated.
“I want to praise the heroism of you students; I was amazed at the way people risked their lives to make sure that the fire was put out. It was a show of unity, love and togetherness.
“Management has just gone round to look at the extent of damage. From our initial analysis 10 rooms were affected and the damage is enormous. We are going to take real audits of the damage, access the integrity of the building to know if it has been badly affected and can no longer take in people. In the mean time, arrangements are been made by the office of the Dean of Students to move students who have been displaced to the NDDC Hall and Female Medicals. We are going to take that as an interim measure. Meanwhile, a committee has been set up that will investigate the cause of the incident to ensure that it does not happen again. I urge you to take heart and give thanks to God because it would have been worse. Keep hope alive in the spirit of today which is lovers’ day.”
According to him, the hall management will take inventory of those badly affected so that they can render any assistance possible.
Continuing, he said that the institution’s examination will go on as planned.
Egwunyenga warned students to avoid the said building, adding that students with issues can complain to the Dean of Students or reach him directly.
Furthermore, responding to a complaint by one of the victims, he promised that water and electricity will be restored shortly to the hostel.