The Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Professor Muhammad Abdulazeez, has disclosed that the metal bridge linking the student hostel and the lecture halls collapsed because 30 students were taking selfies on it.
Professor Abdulazeez noted that the bridge could only carry between ten and 15 people at and as not meant to carry static loads but dynamic loads.
The don said this when he received the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, who paid a condolence visit to the Gubi campus of the institution on Wednesday.
The governor was represented by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Abubakar Sulieman, in company with the SSG, Chief of Staff, some members of the state Assembly and other top government officials.
The VC who was in company with the principal and management staff to receive the governor, said that the students had earlier written to the management requesting for a footpath from the hostel to the lecture halls as the main road was very far.
“The management felt that it was necessary to construct a metal bridge so that at a time, it would carry between ten and 15 people at a time. This was not meant for static loads but for dynamic loads, that means, you don’t stand on it, you just pass.
“From the report we received from some of the students, when the rain had stopped falling and the students were about crossing, they found the scene excellent for them to take selfies.
“So they started from two and before you could realise, there were more than 30 students on the bridge standing, and that bridge was not meant for people to stand.
“Some of the students could not pass and had to also stand, and the bridge suddenly collapsed and that was how we lost three students. And there were some rumours that some students were missing, as at today; as of now, we don’t have any student missing.
“Based on our records, no student is missing; for now, we have confirmed three students dead; two from Kogi State and one from Benue State, two females and a male and they are all from Business Education and Management Studies.”
The VC said that the university management has constituted an investigation committee to find out the remote cause and the possible way to handle the whole situation.
He thanked the state government and security agencies for being proactive in handling the incident.