A bomb attack by suspected Boko Haram members on a crowded motor park in Nyanya on Monday threw the Federal Capital Territory into confusion.
Although security agencies put the number of the dead and the injured at 71 and 124 respectively, independent findings by our correspondents showed that at least 89 people, including three bombers died.
The park which is located in the heart of Nyanya, a satellite settlement bordering the FCT and Nasarawa State, is always crowded with commuters mostly civil servants and private sector workers jostling to board Abuja Mass Transit vehicles, known as El Rufai buses, because they cost less.
The explosion shattered windscreens of vehicles on the busy Nyanya highway and resulted in multiple accidents as drivers lost control of their vehicles in a bid to escape from the area.Four Suicide Bombers Detonated IEDs
According to an eyewitness account, the attack was carried out by four insurgents in a Volkswagen Golf which was in the park.
It was learnt that when the bombs were detonated, the insurgents opened the car and were running away but were killed along with travellers and other residents who were rushing to their places of work.Investigation further revealed that the explosion was a well-planned suicide attack on the FCT.
A picture of the wreckage of the car showed one of the suicide bombers with a picture of a child believed to be his son placed on his stomach.
The dead bomber’s body also had IED wires tied to his thighs.
Security operatives and medical personnel also saw several charms on the body of the bomber.
Shoes, Bags Everywhere
As of the time of filing this report, personal effects of victims of the blast were still scattered around the scene.
The items included shoes, caps, bags, identity cards and telephone handsets. Some of the handsets were still ringing.
Security operatives were seen searching through the heap of bags apparently to be sure that no other explosives were inside.
Policemen attached to the Bomb Disposal Unit also dug up the spot at which the bomb was detonated.
Particles retrieved from the spot were kept inside big brown envelopes and moved into a waiting van.
Victims Rushed To Public Hospitals
The injured victims of the blast were rushed to the general hospitals in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and Nyanya as well as the National Hospital, Abuja as the Customs Hospital, Karu.
At the Asokoro General Hospital, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Amodu Abubakar, confirmed that 25 of the dead were brought into the mortuary of the facility, while 25 of the injured were receiving treatment.
The fate of some of the survivors was so grim that the authorities of the hospital had to appeal to the crowd comprising mostly relatives to donate blood.
The wailing in the hospital premises became uncontrollable at the sight of the headless, mangled and unrecognisable bodies of Nigerians who left their homes for their respective workplaces in good health.
At the Maitama General Hospital, the Medical Director, Dr. Sotimehin Adetoun, put the dead at 14 and the injured at 27.
Adetoun said that two others who were brought to the hospital in very critical conditions were referred to the National Hospital.
Although, the authorities of the National Hospital declined to make formal statement on the dead, a doctor said he counted 30. He put the number of those injured at 40.
One of our correspondents counted 16 corpses at the Wuse General Hospital where a list at the information desk showed that 51 were wounded.
At least 100 injured people were taken to the Nyanya General Hospital, the nearest government health facility to the scene of the incident.
The authorities of the Customs Hospital, Karu said 14 persons were admitted.
One of our correspondents saw the corpse of a man, said to be a victim of the attack, being taken out of the hospital.
At the General Hospital, Wuse, it was a tough assignment for the middle-aged midwife who was checking the list and directing people either to the wards or to the mortuary.
But the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the dead were 71.
Mba disclosed this to journalists on behalf of other security agencies after President Goodluck Jonathan visited the scene of the blast.
Mba said 124 persons that sustained injuries were taken to different hospitals located within the FCT.
He added that 16 luxury buses were razed with 24 other vehicles destroyed in the blast.
He said that information centres would be opened at all the hospitals to provide information on the survivors to their families.
…Baby Survives Blasts, Mom Dies
What could be described as one of the miracles of the Abuja bomb blasts that claimed over 100 lives Monday was the survival of a 10-month baby whose mother was among those who died in the blasts.
As relatives searched for their missing ones at Asokoro General Hospital in the aftermath of the Nyanya bus park bomb blasts in Nigeria’s capital on Monday, a 10-month old baby girl called Goodness caught the eye of many.
It was gathered that Goodness (as she was identified by a man who later showed up and claimed to be her father) was picked up among the mangled remains of the victims of the bomb blast by emergency workers.
The only visible injury on her was one of her eyes which was swollen.
It was gathered that the mother of Goodness was holding the baby at the time of the incident.
Goodness who miraculously did not sustain much injury in the blast is still being catered for by nurses at the Asokoro General Hospital as at Tuesday morning.
The nurses said the man who showed up as her father will have to obtain appropriate police report backed up by all the necessary evidence before the child can be released to him.
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