- Vice chancellor of ATBU, Muhammad Abdullazeez spoke on reasons behind the bridge collapse that claimed the lives of not fewer than three students of the institution
- Abdullazeez said the bridge had the capacity to hold only 15 persons at a time and was not constructed to bear static loads.
- The VC, however, said 30 students were on the bridge taking selfies when it collapsed, adding that the bridge was overwhelmed
The vice chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Muhammad Abdullazeez, says more than 30 students were taking selfies on the pedestrian bridge before it collapsed three days ago.
Recall that a metallic bridge connecting the hostels and lecture halls collapsed on Monday, August 5, as a result of severe flooding following a heavy downpour.
Four students reportedly lost their lives to the disaster while many others injured.
Following the incident, the management of the university announced a temporary closure of school activities to honour the deceased victims.
However, the VC reportedly blamed the students for overwhelming the bridge while taking selfies.
According to The Cable, Abdullazeez said this on Wednesday, August 7, when he received Bala Mohammed, the state governor, who paid him a condolence visit to the Gubi campus of the institution.
The VC reportedly said that the bridge had the capacity to hold only 15 persons at a time and was not constructed to bear static loads. He added that the students, however, assembled on the bridge for selfies.
“The management felt that it was necessary to construct a metal bridge for between 10 and 15 people at a time. It was not meant for static loads but for dynamic loads, that means, you don’t stand on it, you just pass,” he said.
“The reports we received from some of the students were that when the rain had stopped and the students were about crossing, they found the scene excellent for them to take selfies.
“So they started from two and before you could realise it, there were more than 30 students on the bridge standing, and that bridge was not meant for people to stand.
“Some of the students could not pass and had to also stand, and the bridge suddenly collapsed and that was how we lost three students. As of today, we don’t have any student missing.”
He also refuted claims that the casualties were four and many others are still missing.
“Based on our records, no student is missing for now. Three students –two from Kogi state and one from Benue state – were confirmed dead. Two females and a male and they were all from the department of business education and management studies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that angry ATBU students at Gubi Campus, on Tuesday, August 6, staged a protest against the school authority over the death of their colleagues following the bridge collapse.
The protesting students blamed the collapse of the bridge on negligence by the institution’s authorities.
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