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HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopia: bridge collapse at Hawassa University, hundreds of students wounded 

Ethiopia: bridge collapse at Hawassa University, hundreds of students wounded 

The Ministry of Education says parents should not panic about the situation in Hawassa University after bridge collapse

Hawassa University Bridge
The collapse bridge structure at Hawassa University. Cause yet to be established. (Photo : SM Hawassa University)

Updated on October 11, 2020 at 10:11 P.M.

Bridge collapse at Hawassa University reportedly killed one student. At least 70 other students are injured and admitted to Hawassa referral hospital.

The victims are grade 12 students who were assigned to the University to write a grade 12 leaving examination. 

DW Amharic has cited Alemayehu Timotios, Sidama Region peace and security office head, regarding the incident. He said it happened around 7:20 a.m. in the morning. 

Students were walking on the bridge heading to the technology department (from the main campus) when it suddenly collapsed. It is unclear what caused the collapse of the structure.

According to a DW report, hundreds of wounded students are admitted in different hospitals in Hawassa city. Some have serious injuries. Others have a light injury. 

Zinaw Sarmiso, Hawassa referral hospital administrator, has confirmed that over 70 students are admitted. 

Many of the students were reportedly hurt due to a stampede right after the incident. 

The Grade 12 examination for social science students which was being administered on Monday was interrupted in the campus because of the incident. 

Furthermore, it is said that the incident caused a shock. Some students were seen carrying their luggage and leaving the campus.

Residents from the city were reportedly flocking to the university but they were not allowed to the campus.  

Security forces were deployed to restore calm. 

The Ethiopian government has not released any further details. 

The Ministry of Education shared a brief update on its social media page. It said, “We are sorry that some grade 12 students who were crossing the bridge that links the two campuses were hurt when the bridge collapsed.” 

The Ministry also said that those hurt are getting medical attention at Hawassa referral hospital, and the Ministry of Education Task Force and Hawassa University are closely monitoring their situation and that parents should not panic. 

Over 970,000 grade 12 students are writing exams this year. The exam started today and more than 500,000 students have reportedly written the social science exam on Monday. 

No other incident, security or otherwise, is reported in connection with the exam. 


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