It was wailing and tears on Monday at the Kano University of Technology, Wudil, when a two-storey building under construction collapsed, claiming no fewer than 20 lives.
However, in a swift reaction, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Shehu Musa, denied that anybody died, saying five people were injured.
Vanguard learned that the collapsed building was one of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund-sponsored intervention projects that was being handled by a local contractor.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the incident occurred midday, when workers were on site.
The eyewitness added that many labourers were trapped and that “there were fears that the figures may rise, following challenges confronting rescue team; there are fears that over 20 people are trapped or feared dead.”
The eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that an “unspecified number of people are trapped.
“There are no multi-purpose excavator to speed up the rescue efforts.”
In a sharp reaction, Musa denied that any life was lost when part of the two-storey building carved in.
Addressing newsmen in Kano, Professor Musa said: “It is true that we have a challenge with part of our building of the Department of Architecture, and as I speak with you, nobody died as a result of the incident.”
The Vice Chancellor disclosed that five people were injured, adding that none of them were students of the science-based institution.
He revealed that out of the five injured persons, three had been discharged, while the two that sustained fracture were receiving the best medical attention.
He added that heavy duty excavator machines have been deployed to the site, adding: “So far no dead body has been recovered.
“Excavation is still ongoing at the site and, hopefully, would be declared over in the next couple of hours and we would keep the world informed on the outcome.”
Musa revealed that the university would open an investigation on the incident soon as the rescue efforts are declared over.
He, therefore, appealed to parents and guardians to remain calm as everything humanly possible was being done to ensure safety.