Onitsha School confirms 3rd trapped victim dead, two rescued in Building collapse

ANAMBRA, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Management of Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha, Anambra State has confirmed death of one person in the Wednesday building collapse in the school.

Director of Operations, DMGS Situation, Chijioke Ojji in a statement on update on the development said the deceased, Gideon Ezeigwe from Nkerefi in Nkanu East, Enugu State, was found dead within the building. 

He said although the search and rescue phase was over, management’s priority remained ensuring safety and security of both the inhabitants and the site. 

The statement reads, “It is with a heavy heart that we write to update you on the situation at the Centenary disaster site. 

“Sadly, the 3rd trapped person, Gideon Ezeigwe from Nkerefi in Nkanu East, Enugu State, was found dead within the building. We pray that his soul will Rest In Peace. His family has been informed and has our support in dealing with this tragic loss. 

“It is appropriate to acknowledge the valour and stoicism of all the volunteers led by the Principal, Ven Chigozie Anieto and Rev Ugochukwu Ogunoegbunam – the Bishop’s Chaplain. 

“We are in awe of their undaunted spirit; risking their own safety to find the trapped persons and especially Gideon whom they located at and retrieved from the 1st floor. We are indebted to you all forever.

“Worthy of special commendation is Mr Israel Olajide, the Clerk of Works DMGS Centenary, who showed extraordinary tenacity, endurance, and bravery. His knowledge of the Centenary building was an unquantifiable asset.

“Though the search and rescue phase is now over, our priority remains to ensure the safety of everyone and secure the site. We will also begin planning for the evacuation of the rubble once the investigations are completed.

“We thank the Anambra State government for providing an excavator to aid the rescue mission. The Fire service also attended with a water tanker which was used to reduce dust and cool the entrapment site, keeping the trapped persons cool.

“We take seriously our obligation to aid and expedite the conduct of a thorough investigation into the cause of the collapse, with transparency and accountability. 

“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and the Anambra State Physical Planning Board have commenced the professional and statutory investigations with the collection of samples at the site and collation of documents for detailed assessment. DMGS and DMGS Centenary are cooperating fully with these bodies.

“Naturally, there are a plethora of theories making the rounds in social media. We acknowledge that most are well meaning as the stakeholders and the public rightly seek answers. 

“At this time, we can offer neither answers nor explanations for the collapse of the Centenary building but urge you to wait patiently for the assessment and testing by the investigators.

“However, we will continue to share factual information on various aspects of this disaster. Please direct all enquiries to dmgscentenary@gmail.com

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