A 21-year-old undergraduate of the University of Ibadan, Gbadebo Richard, died on Monday after falling into a soap-making machine at a factory owned by Henkel Nigeria Limited, producers of the WAW detergent.
According to reports, Richard, who was a 300-level student of European Studies at the UI, was engaged in holiday job at the factory located in Oluyole, Ibadan, Oyo State, due to the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association of Faculty of Arts Students, University of Ibadan, 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 fervour 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 his studies. We pray that God be with the family and wipe out similar occurrences.”
The deceased, who was an operator at Henkel Global Industries Limited, 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 from the other side of the machine.
It was learnt that after the incident, the company did not reach out to the family and when demands were made for his corpse, the firm allegedly engaged policemen to intimidate those who confronted the management.
The father of the deceased was, however, allowed onto the premises and was able to retrieve the remains. The deceased was subsequently buried on Wednesday.
The incident sparked outrage on the social media with some persons, who claimed to be former employees of Henkel, complaining about poor welfare and safety measures in the factory.
In a series of tweets through its verified handle, the firm, however, apologised for the incident, adding that it was already in contact with the family of the deceased.