Student killed in Sokoto hostel fire

Fire disaster

One student was confirmed killed on Wednesday when fire gutted a student hostel at Sultan Tambari Secondary School, Illela, Sokoto State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Sources from the school indicated that the deceased, 17-year-old Isma’ila Garba, was among 200 students in the hostel when the fire started.

“The deceased actually escaped unhurt when the fire started, but went back to retrieve some belongings and could not return,” Malam Nura Bello, information officer of the Sokoto education ministry, told NAN.

He described the incident as “very shocking”, adding that Garba, who hailed from Ambarura village in Illela Local Government Area, had been buried at Kilgori.

Bello said that students who sustained injuries had been taken to the hospital.

A NAN correspondent, who visited the school, reports that the entire structure was razed down by the fire which lasted for “several hours”.

Bello, however, told NAN that the cause of the fire had not been ascertained.

“The cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but we suspect a surge in power,” he said.

The information officer said that nothing was recovered from the hostel, adding that the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Jabbi Kilgori, had directed the school’s Principal to submit a report on the incident.

Meanwhile, Malam Imam Imam, Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Media and Public Relations, has visited the scene and offered financial support to the victims.

NAN quotes Imam as saying that Tambuwal was deeply touched by the incident, especially the death of a student in the inferno.

Imam said that government would foot the medical bill of those injured, adding that one critically injured victim had been transferred to a tertiary health facility in Sokoto.

“I have inspected the burnt hostel; government will reimburse all those that lost valuables in the incident.

“Government shall also reconstruct the hostel and put it back to use as quickly as possible,” he added.

Imam said that the state government would work closely with stakeholders, parents and school administrators toward finding a permanent solution to incessant cases of fire incidents in schools.