A 21-year-old student of the University of Ibadan, Gbadebo Richard, died after falling into a soap-making machine on Monday at a factory owned by Henkel Nigeria Limited, makers of WAW detergent and bar soap.
According to multiple reports, Richards, who was a 300 Level student of European Studies at UI, was on a holiday job at the factory located in Oluyole, Ibadan, due to the closure of schools caused by COVID-19.
The Association of Faculty of Arts Students, UI, announced his death in a statement saying, “It is completely disheartening to announce the death of Mr Gbadebo Richard, a 300 level student of the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan.
“Your fervor to become greater in life was cut short by your sudden death. Team Evolution uses this medium to sympathise with the family of our late AFASITE who was active, effective, and diligent in studies. We pray that God be with the family and wipe out similar occurrences.”
The deceased, who was an operator at Henkel Global Industries Ltd, was on the night shift when he unknowingly slipped into the machine that took his life.
The other workers were not aware until they saw blood coming out through the other side of the machine.
It was learnt that the father of the deceased retrieved the corpse from the premises of the company and the remains were subsequently buried on Wednesday.
The incident sparked outrage online with some people who claimed to be former staffers of Henkel complaining about the poor welfare and safety measures at the company.
In a series of tweets through its verified handle, however, the firm apologised for the incident, adding that it was already in contact with the family of the deceased.
It tweeted, “The tragic incident shakes us and we assure you that we will do everything we can to clarify its cause. Our deepest sympathy goes to Richard’s family. We are in contact with them and will provide the necessary support in this difficult time.
“Out of respect, we will not make any further statement at this time. It was important for us to personally console his family before we comment on the incident on public channels.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Gbenga Fadeyi, did not respond to calls on Thursday morning.