Explosion In Abuja Leaves Scores Killed And Many Injured (Photos & Video UPDATED)
Pandemonium struck this morning in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja when an explosion rocked an outskirt of the city and according to reports, scores of people were killed and hundreds injured in the incident.
Latest reports from authorities confirmed that the blast actually took place at the Abuja urban mass transport company limited garage under the bridge at Nyanya.
This is contrary to earlier reports that the explosion sounded in an unnamed highly populated motor park less than five minutes drive from the Abuja city centre.
It is not clear yet how the bomb was ferried into the park, but witnesses suspect it was planted by a suicide bomber.
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It was gathered that several dead bodies now litter the blood spattered park and the expressway leading to the city.
Some of the dead victims and the injured are being taken to the hospital by ambulances and vans belonging to the Nigerian Police, the Vehicle Inspection Office, Federal Road Safety Commission.
Newsmen at the scene of the tragic incident reported that they counted more than 50 bodies that are yet to be evacuated.
Several vehicles including about 12 government owned high capacity buses were destroyed in the attack.
Reports say some of the buses were loaded with passengers when the explosion occurred.
According to the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency, Manzo Ezekiel, the incident happened during Monday's rush hour at the park.
“This morning there was an explosion at the Nyanya Motor Park,” Ezekiel said.
“Rescue teams are already on ground. There were so many people there at that time, so we think there must have been some injuries,” he added.
Some of the dead victims and injured were seen taken to hospital by ambulances and vans belonging to the police, the VIO, FRSC, NSCDC and NEMA.
Other witnesses said more than 150 bodies may have been moved before newsmen's arrival.
Some of the bodies are mangled beyond recognition.
Millions of Nigerians have gone on social media to comment on the tragic incident.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on his twitter handle tweeted: Atiku Abubakar @atiku "I am angered and saddened by the news of multiple explosions that occurred in Nyanya bus park in Abuja this morning."
Also, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati tweeted this: "President Jonathan directs the medical services to do their very best to save the lives of those injured in Nyanya bombing."
Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, aslo went on twitter to condemn the tragic incident.
He tweeted: "Not again! Another bomb blast, another bloody day in Abuja. Horrifying! My thoughts and prayers are with the victims & their families."
Meanwhile, NEMA has warned citizens living around where the blast took place to steer clear the scene of the explosion.
"The explosion occurred at 6.30am local time," the Senior Information Officer, NEMA, Mr. Sani Datti said. "The agency has found it necessary to also warn ordinary citizens to keep off the bomb explosion scene."
According to Datti, Search and Rescue officers as well as other response agencies “are now at the scene and have cordoned off the area, adding that more details would be updated soon.”
It was reported that the explosion had caused intense apprehension in Nyanya, Mararaba and its environs as many residents stayed in doors.
“Me and my family are still in doors and may not go out today because there are frightening rumours of another possible attack,” Chidi James, a resident who lives close to the scene of the explosion, said over the phone.
Datti however assured that NEMA and other government agencies were doing their best to condone the area in order to douse the already heightened tension.
“Our men are there and we are doing our best to calm issues. I will update you as we go on,” he said.
Residents have been advised to check for relations at hospitals.
Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and Interior Minister, Abba Moro have been reported to have visited the scene of the blast.
President Goodluck Jonathan has also visited the scene of the terrorist attack. The area was cordoned off for evidence collection, as well as for passage of the presidential convoy.
As at the time of filing this report, there was no immediate claim of responsibility but suspicion is likely to fall on the militant group Boko Haram.
The Islamists have been waging an increasingly bloody insurgency in the northeast.
The Boko Haram militants killed at least 135 people in attacks on several villages in northeast Nigeria late last week.
Eight people were killed in a separate attack at a teacher training college, witnesses said.
Yesterday, in Bama area, another 60 people were killed by the militants.
Below is a video of eyewitnesses' accounts on the incident: