From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Riot broke out at the College of Health and Technology, Ijero-Ekiti, in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State, on Wednesday, following the collapse of over 100 students who allegedly inhaled chemicals during a fumigation exercise on the campus.
It was gathered that the students collapsed while writing their examinations in their various halls after inhaling the chemicals when the operatives of the Federal Fire Service were undertaking a fumigation exercise.
An eye-witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said that no fewer than 100 students slumped as a result of the chemicals inhaled and they were rushed to hospitals outside the campus for medical treatment.
It was learnt that some of the students hospitalized were said to be asthmatic and developed complications as a result of the leaked chemicals inhaled during the fumigation excercise.
Enraged by the development, the irate students in their numbers mobilised and beseiged the institution’s administative unit to demand explanations from the management.
The protest later turned violent as the administrative building, lecture rooms, vehicles and other properties were destroyed in the rampage, forcing lectures and other staff to scamper for safety.
In his reaction, the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani confirmed the incident, saying the situation was under control and normalcy had been restored.
“Earlier today, I received a call from the Provost of the College of Technology as regards the situation in the institution. What we understand was that the school has received a memo from the Federal Fire Service that fumigation will be done.
“The fumigation was carried out today but unfortunately the fumigation created panic and more than that was adverse effects on over 100 students who were hospitalized at the Ijero state Specialist Hospital.
‘With 64 have been discharged and about 34 of them still in the facility. Most of them in good condition. we had sent two to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti (FETHI) for close observation and to ensure that they are in good state and one is undergoing investigation in ABUAD Multi System Hospital.
“We are monitoring the situation in order to ensure everyone is safe. We have mobilized additional doctors and nurses, oxygen cylinders to the hospital to make sure that everybody is safe”, he said.
Filani disclosed that some operatives of the Fire Service that undertook to the fumigation excercise had been arrested and cooling their legs in Police custody for thorough investigation.
He also said that the state government would investigate the matter.