By George Aluo
The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has clarified that no student of Bethlehem Girls College, Abule Ado died in the unfortunate fire incident that occurred in Lagos on Sunday.
The Church in a release which was signed by the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins stated that all students of the school were reported safe.
The release stated in part…”We want to state that all students of the school were reported safe. Those who sustained injuries were promptly attended to in various hospitals within the environs. We are getting our Education Department along with the Administrators of other Archdiocesan schools to see how the students of Bethlehem Girls College can be accommodated in the other schools so that their education is not disrupted.”
The release noted that incident occurred while the students were at Sunday Mass.
“This sad incident occurred while the students and staff were at Sunday Mass. With the help of the first respondents, all the students were rescued and some that were injured were rushed to the hospitals. The other students have been released to their parents and gone to their different homes.”
The Church however confirmed the painful death of school’s Administrator, Rev Sr. (Dr.) Henrietta Alokha, and a female security guard who both paid the supreme price while trying to ensure the safety of the students.
“Unfortunately, the Administrator of the school, Rev. Sr. Dr. Henrietta Alokha SSH and one female security guard died in the process of taking care that the students were safe. Sr. Henrietta Alokha SSH and other staff that died have paid the supreme price in their bid to lead all her students to safety. May their souls rest in peace. It is important to confirm that no priest died during the incident. The priest who was celebrating the Mass helped in rescuing the students and he himself is safe.
Unfortunately, the Staff quarters, Administrative Building, the refectory and hostel
buildings were levelled to the ground as a result of the impact of the explosion with no
essential building standing except the convent housing the nuns in charge of the school,” the release stated.
The Church thanked all those who responded swiftly thus ensuring the situation did not get worse.
“We commend the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Red Cross, the various Security Agencies for their prompt response which ensured that the situation did not get worse. We are grateful to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his call to express the sympathy of the government and for setting up a committee to investigate issues surrounding the explosion.”
By George Aluo