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Fire guts dormitory block at Bolgatanga Polytechnic


2009-02-23 20:27:15
This article has been read 719 times.


Fire
The Bolgatanga Polytechnic at Sumbrungu in the Upper East Region has been closed for two weeks, following a fire incident last Saturday in which a single storey building, used as a dormitory for about 250 students, was destroyed. Property estimated at about GH¢100 million was burnt in the process. The cause of the fire is being investigated by personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), but some students who spoke to newsmen on campus attributed it to a faulty electrical extension cable in one of the rooms on the block.


According to the students the fire began in one of the rooms at about 1200 hours last Saturday. The GNFS was called in but its fire tender ran out of water while the fire raged on. The fire tender had to go to Bolgatanga to refill and by the time it got back the situation had gone out of control. Items consumed by the fire included books, suitcases, clothing, computers, rice-cookers and gas cylinders and other personal effects belonging to the students.

A delegation from the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) in Bolgatanga led by Mr Samuel N'lary, Chief Director, accompanied by a team of pressmen visited the Polytechnic on Monday morning to assess the situation. The delegation was taken round the school by the Rector of the Polytechnic Professor Paul Tanzubil Bomber and some members of staff, after which he met the student body. The Rector announced at the meeting, the decision of the Polytechnic's academic board to close the institution from Monday

February 23 to Monday March 9, 2009. "This is to enable the students to go back home and reorganize themselves, as they had lost all their belongings to the fire". According to the Rector, the students lost almost all of their belongings, except the clothing they were in when the incident occurred. He said for the past two days, the Polytechnic had been providing the students with meals and other personal needs. He said the Polytechnic administration had decided to refund to each student half of the rent they paid for the next two semesters, to enable them to find temporary off-campus accommodation till the end of the current semester.

Professor Tanzubil appealed to NGOs as well as other public-spirited organisations and individuals to come to the aid of the institution to rebuild the block. Mr N'lary expressed his sympathy to the students, saying that, the RCC was deeply moved by their plight. He urged them to exercise patience and to bear with the Polytechnic's authorities, while they work out solutions to the problem.

In the course of inspecting the burnt building, charred gas cylinders numbering more than 20 were found scattered in the dormitories. These, it was detected, had contributed to the highly explosive nature of the fire and the inability of the GNFS personnel to bring it under control. A member of staff, Mr Daniel Ibrahim, told newsmen that the students had been warned against the use of gas-cookers in the dormitories.

Source:ghanaweb.com

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