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Hostel fire displaces 80 students

Uzoeto said the students had been sent back to their parents following an agreement between the management of the school and parents as there was no place for them to stay.

Rescuers say more than 49 people may have died.

No fewer than 80 students have been displaced from their boarding house accommodation at the Don Bosco Secondary School and Youth Centre, Obolo Obosi, near Onitsha following a fire incident.

The Rector of the school, Rev. Fr. Charles Uzoeto, who conducted journalists around the charred remains of the hostel on Sunday, said the fire broke out while the students and teachers were in school.

The Rector said the property of the students could have been saved, but the fire service was unable to reach the school in good time due to the bad access road.

“It was a serious fire incident. Nobody can say exactly what happened or how it happened, but everyone was in school.

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``We can only speculate about the real cause, but we thank God that no life was lost.

“About 80 students are housed in the two wings of the hostel; we cannot quantify the extent of damage as virtually everything the students had in the hostel was lost,” he said.

According to him, the bedding, the entire roof of the building and even the structure of the building were destroyed by the fire.

“The fire services would have reached here much earlier, but on their way, they discovered that they could not access the place because of bad road leading to this place.

``After meandering through the markets with all the difficulties, before they came here, we were already counting our losses.

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“I think if the roads were good, they would have reached here much earlier.

``They made efforts as human beings but they could not jump, they could not fly, and that reduced the chances of rescue,” he said.

Uzoeto called on government, corporate organisations and kind individuals to come to the aid of the school to enable it to commence its normal academic activities.

“The assistance we need is obvious, it is a private mission school built with the best intention, but the resources are not there like before.

``We need help from government, organisations and individuals to recover from this colossal loss,” he said.

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Don Bosco Secondary School, Obosi is an educational institute, managed by the Salesian Priests of the Catholic Church, and is one of the three in Nigeria.

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