According to reports, Three pupils of Ikosi High School, Ketu, Lagos, have reportedly collapsed after heavy smoke from the nearby Olusosun dump in Ojota covered the area.
The pollution, which began on Wednesday after a fire outbreak at the site, has since forced many residents and business owners to abandon the area for fear of being choked to death.
The inferno has destroyed several vehicles and shops close to the dump.
When our correspondent visited Ikosi on Friday morning, primary and secondary school pupils could be seen rushing out of their various schools and going home.
A Senior Secondary School 2 pupil of the school, Lateef Oponiyi, who spoke with Saturday PUNCH said that teachers asked them to vacate the school environment at 11am when the smell of the smoke became unbearable.
He disclosed that three pupils of his school collapsed on Thursday and were rushed out of the premises for medical attention.
He said, “We were in class on Thursday when suddenly we started hearing shouts from other students. Three of our friends collapsed as a result of the thick smoke and had to be rushed out for medical attention. Two of them were asthmatic while the third student had no known condition.
“Since this problem started on Wednesday, we have not been able to do any learning in class. The smoke is everywhere within the school premises, making it difficult for us to even move from one point to another. We don’t even know if we’ll come to school on Monday.”
While confirming the development, a handful of other pupils of the school told Saturday PUNCH that their colleagues’ health situation left the rest of them panicky.
Apart from IHS, other schools where pupils were also released to go home on Thursday and Friday as a result of the situation include Ikosi Junior High School, Ikosi Primary School and Express Nursery and Primary School 1 and 2.
A teacher in one of the schools, who asked not to be named, said academic activities had been seriously affected since smoke from the dump took over the area.
He however, declined to confirm if indeed the three pupils collapsed or not, saying he had no power to speak on the matter.
Proprietor of a school in the area, Mrs. Fadeke Elebiju, told Saturday PUNCH that immediately she noticed that the smoke had not fizzled out in the area on Thursday morning, she called many parents on the telephone not to bring their children to school until the situation improved.
She said, “We don’t know why it has been hard to put out the fire causing the smoke. The authorities should please do something otherwise this could affect the education of many children around this community.”
Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaq Fadipe, said the agency was alerted to the fire around 4pm and immediately deployed four water trucks to the scene. He confirmed that vehicles belonging to LAGBUS were affected by the fire incident around the dump.