A one-storey building belonging to Abu Naib Islamic School on Gero Road in the Bukuru area of Jos South Local Government area of Plateau State, last night collapsed on pupils, killing an unconfirmed number of children.
Although the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) no Sunday confirmed four dead and five injured, sources in the community said the death toll was higher and that the figure was likely to rise considering the degree of the injuries sustained by many of the students.
The pupils, believed to be between the ages of six and eight, were said to be receiving Islamic lectures in the evening when the building collapsed.
Alhaji Danlami Muhammad, who lives in the community, said: “I cannot give details of the casualties right now because we are still trying to rescue the children.”
He said about 40 children were inside the building when it collapsed, adding that “the number could have been higher but for the rainfall that prevented some of the children from attending their Koranic class”.
He said the school was a secondary school but used on weekends to tutor children on Islamic studies.
Confirming the incident, the North Central Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Muhammad Abdulsalam, said: “So far, four children have been confirmed dead while five others sustained injuries and have been taken to the hospital.
“Our men are still carrying out the rescue operations and by tomorrow (today) I will give you the details.”
He said the injured persons were rushed to Plateau Specialist Hospital in Jos.