The authorities of the Kogi State Polytechnic (KSP) Lokoja has declared three lecture free days in memory of those that died in Wednesday’s tanker explosion in Felele, along the Lokoja-Abuja highway.
The tanker explosion which occurred around 8.30am, and less than three kilometres from the state-owned polytechnic’s main gate, claimed the lives of no less than 25 people, including five students of the institution, three nursery school pupils and passersby. They were burnt beyond recognition.
The crash which was said to have been caused by brake failure in the fuel laden tanker involved five cars, two motorcycles and three tricycles, all of which went up in flames in the ensuing inferno.
The school management in a statement issued by the Head, Public Relations and Protocol Unit, Mrs. Uredo Omale, a copy of which was made available to The Nation on Thursday said the decision was reached at the end of an emergency meeting of stakeholders.
Omale further disclosed that three other staff members of the school who survived the accident sustained varying degree of injuries.
It read: “The management of the Kogi State Polytechnic has declared Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th September, 2020, as lecture-free days in honour of members of the polytechnic community affected by the inferno caused by the tanker explosion in the early hours of Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020.
“The decision was reached at an emergency stakeholders meeting of the institution immediately after the most regrettable incident.
“The stakeholders comprising of the principal officers, deans, directors, the chief security officer, the public relations officer and student union leaders, also resolved that normal academic activities are to continue on Monday, 28th September, 2020.
“A vital decision at the meeting was the setting up of a committee to do a careful and thorough identity check of members of staff and students affected by the inferno with the view to ascertaining the nature and level of damage done to them.”
The committee, chaired by the Dean, School of Art, Design and Printing, Mr. Pedro Peter Akande has so far reported that three members of staff sustained injuries in the incident.
“The identified members of staff who, though sustained minor injuries, were rushed to the Hajiya Hauwau Oziohu Bello (Polytechnic) Health Centre, treated and discharged immediately. They are in very stable conditions.
“While details of the identities of those affected by ways of death or injuries are yet to be fully ascertained, management and the entire polytechnic deeply mourn and sympathise with victims and their families over the sorrowful incident.
“The polytechnic will avail members of the public with details of members of staff and students who might have lost their lives or sustained severe injuries as accurate details are unraveled in conjunction with relevant security agencies.”