By SAMUEL TORLUMUN
It was 6:45am and we were about 200 meters to the popular Nyanya Bridge when we heard a devastating twin blast around the Urban Bus Terminal, popularly known as El-Rufai buses. It was so thunderous that it lifted our vehicle up and dropped it on the ground. Initially we thought the two tyres of our vehicles had busted, but suddenly, a huge smoke engulfed all over the place.
The smoke was coming out at the entrance of the park which is usually congested at the morning hours, especially on Mondays. Residents queue up in the morning to commute to city center. Usually, the park is overcrowded on Mondays given the morning rush by residents who are working in the capital city. And with the current restriction by the FCT authority that mini buses or Araba should not go beyond Nyanya, most of the residents stop at the bus stop to board the Urban Mass to town. Also because of its busy nature, there is always traffic jam at the Nyanya Bridge, toward the park.
At the height of the congestion, that is between 6am to 8am, the park usually have an estimated population of a thousand people clustering in front of the park struggling to board the vehicles. There are other parks close to the Urban Mass’ park that were also affected by the blast.
Although security operatives responded promptly, at least 20 minutes after the sounds, but before their arrival, some people started evacuating dead bodies, gathering body parts of those who were battered and gathering the injured persons. We saw a pick up van fully loaded with bodies of roasted people and was heading towards AYA Roundabout in Asokoro. After a while two others followed, but this time, it was both for the dead and the injured. NEMA has confirmed that a total of 71 people died while 124 were injured and receiving treatment in nine hospitals in the Federal Capital City.
Nyanya Blast Update
|Nyanya General Hospital||11||–|
|Customs Hospital, Karu||14||1|
|Wuse General Hospital||10||15|
|National Hospital Abuja||25||14|
|Medical Centre, Maraba||7||–|