Friday Olokor, Jos
There was pandemonium and tears at the Jos campus of Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi, following an early morning fire which razed down the female hostel.
The inferno, according to a security man, Yusuf Ade, started around 8.30am “until it razed down everything at 11.44am.”
The incident threw the entire institution into confusion as lecturers, students and other members of staff of the institution scampered for safety.
Many of the students, who lost important items to the fire, wept profusely but were consoled by their friends.
Efforts by the students to put off the fire were not successful because of the gravity of its rage.
According to the chairperson of the hostel, Christiana Azi, students lost everything, including original copies of their credentials, clothes, foodstuff and other valuables.
She said, “The incident is shocking and devastating. It will be very difficult to recover from it.”
Another student, Femicit Nelson, said the inferno threw the entire school into confusion as students and staff made fruitless efforts to extinguish it.
“You can see many of the students crying. But we thank God that no life was lost. The casualty rate would have been monumental if the fire had started around midnight when many of us would be asleep. To God be the glory,” she stated.
Our correspondent learnt that the fire had consumed everything in the hostel before the arrival of fire service personnel at about 11.50am.
Although no life was lost, books, clothes and other items were lost.
Ade said, “Many students had left for lectures when the fire started. No one was around to remove anything from the burning hostel and all the properties were burnt to ashes.”
When contacted, the Rector of PLASPOLU, Dauda Gyemang, confirmed the incident, describing it as “shocking and a great loss to the institution.”
He told journalists that the inferno was due to a gas explosion, which occurred at about 8.30am.
“We thank God that no life was lost, but nothing was rescued. We shall relocate the students to another place, because the building has been completely burnt down. It is very devastating,” Gyemang said.