By: Izunna Okafor, Awka
A students’ lodge, identified as El-Shadai Lodge in Ifite Awka, Anambra State, was reportedly gutted by fire, following the explosion of a gas cylinder in one of the apartments in the lodge.
The lodge, which is predominantly occupied by students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, was said to have been seriously damaged by the inferno, which happened on Tuesday morning.
According to eyewitness reports, one of the occupants of the lodge was frying pop corn in the room before the explosion occurred, affecting most of the rooms in the lodge and damaging most of the properties therein. It was also reported that all the efforts made by the eyewitnesses to put off the fire proved abortive, untill the arrival of the earlier-contacted fire fighters from Anambra State Fire Service, who fought the fire to calm and rescued the remaining properties.
A female student of UNIZIK, identified as Miss Precious reportedly lost her life to the inferno, as collapsed wall trapped her helpless in her room, while her fellow lodge mates scampered for their safety, after several unsuccessful efforts to rescue her.
Some other occupants of the lodge also sustained varied degrees of injury as a result of the fire.
As at the press time, all efforts to contact the owner of the lodge proved abortive.