More revelations have continued to emerge as victims and eyewitnesses recount their ordeal and shock at the bombing of the city’s busiest shopping mall, EMAB Plaza, located side by side with Banex Plaza in the Federal Capital Territory.
It was revealed yesterday that the insistence by the private security personnel attached to the mall helped in reducing the number of casualties.
A victim who was caught up by the explosion told THISDAY that the bomber faked being drunk as a strategy to carry out his dastardly plan.
The victim, Donald Chikason, who is receiving treatment at the Maitama General Hospital, explained that the bomber planted the bomb in his car before approaching the gate.
Chikason, a staff of Skye Bank opposite the plaza said "I went out to get corn for myself, so on my way coming out, I saw an Hausa man, he wanted to get into the plaza, but the security man stopped him and asked the bomber to follow the procedure by going through the right gate.
"The man started arguing, behaving as if he was drunk. At this point, the security men then asked him to park the car outside the plaza. So I decided to leave the place. Immediately I turned towards my direction, I heard an explosion and the next thing, I saw myself in the hospital," he told THISDAY
Sulieman Lukman Ademola also gave account of what happened at the scene: "I saw the car, the security men were arguing with the driver who was saying ‘I want to follow here’, but they told him not to follow there. The man then bent down and put his head inside the car, and the next thing was an explosion that threw me down and I became unconscious. The explosion also burnt my back. When I regained consciousness and looked around, I saw some people's heads and legs. It was then I started begging people to take me to the hospital."
Meanwhile, the death toll from the bomb blast has now increased to 22 as another victim, a Senegalese, died on Wednesday night.
The Public Relations Officer, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Tayo Haastrup confirmed the death of the Senegalese to journalists.
According to Haastrup, the hospital tried contacting the Senegalese Embassy, while the victim, a male, was receiving treatment but could not get through; he later died as a result of the severe burns he sustained from the bomb explosion.
The death has brought the tally of those in the mortuary at the time of going to the press to eight, while those receiving treatment at the hospital are eight.
Some of the other victims were also being treated in other private hospitals in the FCT besides government hospitals like Maitama, Wuse, Garki and National Hospital.
Some private doctors and hospitals have also joined with government owned hospitals to give succour to some of the victims from the blast. A consultant orthopaedic surgeon and Medical Director, Alliance Clinics, Dr. Christopher Otabor, explained that the hospital sent well-equipped ambulances and staff to the scene of the accident immediately the news broke out.
Also, one of the victims, Mrs. Gloria Ejike, who was badly affected by the blast, was referred to the clinic where experts laboured to keep her alive. However, at the end of the day, the 32-year old married woman had her leg amputated to stay alive.
At Maitama General Hospital, eight of the victims were being treated, while two others who sustained minor injuries had been discharged.
THISDAY checks revealed that a total of 43 injured persons were brought to the hospital immediately after the blast
The hospital also confirmed that they have ten wholesome corpses in their morgue, while the other ones were mangled, with their body parts in body bags. Also in Garki, some of the victims who were taken there were said to be receiving treatment.
A staff who, did not want his name in print told journalists that “one patient is still in the ICU and is being monitored. The one at the intensive unit is very serious as her two legs were cut off, she has burns all over her body, including her upper arms,” the source said.