Five children have been killed by a primary school building that collapsed on Saturday at UK Bello Memorial Primary School, Paiko, in the Paiko Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to a source, the children, who died in the area were scavengers picking materials from a refuse dump by the fence of the school.
According to PUNCH, the building that killed the children had been on the verge of collapse for years and efforts by the Niger State Government to demolish the building were resisted by the residents.
The source stated, “There is a refuse dump close to the school toilet where children usually pick up discarded materials to sell, adding that it was during such visits that the toilet collapsed on them.
“Now, if you go to the school, it is open. None of the classrooms has a door or no window because they have been stolen, the fence has collapsed and people have been vandalising the infrastructures in the school.
“The toilet block is outside the school building and there is a refuse dump very close to the toilet. Children usually go to the refuse dump to dig up for things they can sell. It was in the process of these children digging the refuse this morning that the block which was on the verge of collapsing fell on the children.”
Two of the children died on the spot while the other three who were rushed to the hospital for treatment eventually died at the hospital.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer said he has received the report adding that it was the responsibility of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency to speak on the issue.
At the time of filing this report, the Public Relations Officer of Niger State Universal Basic Education Board, Idris Kolo, didn’t pick up his calls.