on Red Alert as Bomb Explosion Rocks Abuja
The security agencies have been placed on red alert throughout the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja following the explosion that occurred in Nyanya bus stop on Monday morning.
CSP Frank Mba, Police Force spokesman, told newsmen in Abuja at the scene of the incident that the blast occurred at about 6.55 a.m.
“The FCT police are already on red alert; security in and around Abuja is being strengthened; we are paying very close attention to all vulnerable points.
“We are also paying close attention to motor parks. We advise the public to avoid unnecessary huge crowd. We are also paying close attention to government buildings.
“We want to appeal for calm, cooperation and patience,’’ he said, describing the incident as sad.
Mba confirmed that 16 high capacity buses, some cars and motorcycles were affected in the explosion.
He said investigation had begun.
“Experts from the Bomb Disposal Squad are on ground, the police are working with other security agencies.
“At this stage, we may not be able to give the casualty figure; the reasons are obvious; a lot of people are in the hospital; our detectives are visiting hospitals and taking count.
“We want to give you figures that we can back up with facts,’’ he said.
A survivor, Prince Igwe, however, said a vehicle was driven into the park and parked in front of the already loaded high capacity buses.
“The driver hurriedly parked and disappeared shortly after the explosion went off. I was inside one of the buses; I struggled to come out.
“Many people died,’’ Igwe said.
The car was burnt beyond recognition but its chassis number could still be located on the engine.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who got to the scene shortly after the blast, counted about 70 corpses at the scene.
The huge explosion left a big crater at the scene of the blast.
Those affected were passengers, mostly workers leaving the park to the city centre, petty traders and vehicles conveying passengers to other locations within and outside the FCT.
Police and other security agencies as well as paramilitary agencies carrying out rescue operation had hectic time controlling crowd at the scene.
The force spokesman appealed to them to leave the scene for unfettered investigation.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; Commander of Guards Brigade, Brig.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje and top security personnel visited the scene.