Residents of Lafia, Nasarawa State capital witnessed a wild weather of cataclysmic proportions that shook the entire city at the wee hours of Wednesday as heavy downpour wreaked havoc at Living Foundation Nursery/Primary School, leaving seven pupils dead and thousands of property destroyed.
The rain, which started a few minutes after some pupils had arrived on the school premises, located within Tuntun-Kauri area on the Lafia-Makurdi Expressway, also affected many houses within its environs due to lack of proper drainage.
Eyewitness said the classrooms, which were built with corrugated iron sheets on waterways could not withstand the force of the rain and was pulled down suddenly. All seven pupils in the class at that time died instantly.
It was learnt that some teachers, who were present at the school when the torrential rain started, abandoned the pupils and ran for dear lives.
The state chief fire officer, Alhaji Dogara Dalhatu who confirmed the ugly incident said that about four pupils were confirmed dead during the torrential rain.
Dalhatu, who blamed the incident on non-compliance with physical planning regulations, also lamented that the school authorities knew quite alright that it erected illegal structure there.
His words, “I received a call from the Ministry of Works that there was problem around that area and you know we all woke up to a downpour and that signified that there was a problem because of lack of proper drainage. People build on the way of water which is very dangerous.
“The report from my men was that there were four dead bodies discovered and they had been deposited at the hospital. What they are doing is not good, especially in Lafia here. People do not comply with the rules and regulations guiding the planning and physical structure in the state. We cannot blame government for this unfortunate incident,” he said.