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Principal, students collapse after inhaling chemical in Lagos

About 20 students of Ogba Junior Grammar School, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, and the Principal collapsed on Thursday after they inhaled a substance suspected to be chemical from a photo laboratory inside the Ogba Shopping Arcade.

The incident occurred between 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. while the pupils were in their classrooms.

The name of the company alleged to have released the chemical into the air was given as Biz Circuit Colour Photo Laboratory.

It was gathered that the odour from the chemical took over the entire school and the environs while several pupils scampered for safety.

It was also learnt that a team of teachers quickly revived the school principal and some of the affected pupils but that four of them who were seriously affected were rushed to a private hospital nearby, Blue Cross Hospital, Ogba.

It was further learnt that four of the affected pupils were rushed into the Blue Cross Hospital by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).

Three of the four pupils, initially brought to the hospital, and who were placed on danger list were later transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.

The Head of Logistics of LASEMA, Kehinde Giwa, said the agency received a distress call on its toll free line.

He said there were also several calls from residents of the area alerting them of the incident around 2.00 p.m.

Giwa said his men moved swiftly to the site while also informing other relevant agencies like LASEPA, Fire Service, the Nigeria Police in Ojodu, as well as men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

“Immediately we got the information, we coordinated LASEPA, men of Lagos State Fire Service, Nigeria Police, Ojodu, as well as men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and when we got to the scene, we immediately conducted an assessment tour of the area and did a preliminary investigation and we traced the strong chemical to a photo laboratory inside the Ogba Shopping Arcade.

“We are yet to identify the name of the suspected strong chemical. But what has been done now is that the place has been sealed off, while staff of the affected photo lab were taken to Ojodu Police Station for interrogation.

“We are continuing our investigation to know the name of the chemical”.

The Head of Medical Emergency at LASUTH, Kunle Taiwo, confirmed that three pupils of the school were brought to the hospital and that one of them, aged below 13 years, was taken to the pediatrics department of the hospital.

He added, however, that all of the pupils were in stable condition. – Daily Independent.

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