The explosion occurred at about 4pm.
An explosion has occurred at a major shopping mall, Emab Plaza, in Wuse 2, Abuja. A witness said the explosion occurred at about 4p.m. Emab Plaza is a busy shopping mall in the highbrow area of Nigeria’s capital city, on Aminu Kano Crescent. The explosion apparently occurred at the gate of the busy plaza. This is the third deadly explosion in the Nigerian capital in two months. The extremist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the two explosions in April and May in Nyanya, a suburb of the capital.
16.25Fire Service have arrived the scene of the blast. There are frantic attempts to extinguish the burning cars. Traders in the plaza said the blast apparently went off in a car that was driving into the mall.
16.30Emergency officials arrived without adequate material. "Tell Joseph to come with enough dead body bags," an emergency official tells colleagues. Soldiers arrived in large numbers. Clearing the place. Traders in tears.
16.34Emergency officials are evacuating victims to the nearby Maitama District Hospital.
Our reporter at the Maitama general hospital said at least six victims have been confirmed dead and taken to the morgue. She has also counted about 17 injured victims that have so far been brought in, including a white man with a broken leg.
16.38Soldiers block off the area. More fire service officials arrive. More ambulances too. Traders say the explosion was a car bomb at the gate of the plaza. Bodies of injured are being taken to hospitals.
16.44The fire has been put out. Rescue workers are now searching the shops. Witnesses say some traders are trapped in their shops.
16.47National Emergency Management Agency say they are unable to confirm the casualty rate just yet. Sani Batti, the agency's information officer said emergency workers are still conducting search and rescue.
16.50The fire service officials put out the fire at about 4:40 pm. They arrived about 23 minutes before then.
Fire service and emergency officials are still searching shops to see if anyone is trapped within. Injured are still being evacuated.
16.54Emergency workers are still evacuating the injured and bodies to Maitama District Hospital and other hospitals.
A police officer laments that the plaza made no security provisions.
"Nothing, they don't search cars, booths, anybody can just drive in," he said.
17.03Our reporter counted 11 cars completely burnt in the explosion while some others suffered various damages.
Emergency officials say more ambulances are needed at Maitama District hospital "to transfer victims to other hospitals."
17.07At the Maitama General Hospital, officials have confirmed at least 30 casualties with three bodies completely dismembered. The hospital is full, our reporter said. Some victims are receiving treatment outside. Our reporter counted seven victims receiving treatments outside the hospital premises.
17.13At the scene of the blast in Wuse 2, more senior police officials arrive. Frank Mba, Nigeria Police spokesperson, arrives scene, promises to brief journalists in next few minutes. Asks journalists to leave cordon area.
17.21At the Maitama General Hospital, officials are now referring new victims to the National Hospital, in the Central Business District, a few kilometres away. At least nine victims have been referred. But four ambulances are waiting outside the hospital, apparently rendering first aid. The hospital is flooded with victims and sympathizers, causing another security scare. But armed soldiers, who arrived moments ago, are are trying to disperse the crowd that has gathered at the hospital.
17.25Emab Plaza, where the explosion occurred, is opposite the Banex mosque. The mosque and other nearby buildings were not affected. Some traders at the plaza say some of those affected were petty traders who sell fruits at the entrance. The explosion occurred just by the plaza gate. Another witness said worshippers were just about to say the Asr (quarter-to-four) prayer in the mosque when the bomb exploded. He said some worshippers were also affected. Apart from the several deaths and injuries (figure not yet confirmed), over 11 cars and some shops at the EMAB plaza (those close to the gate) were affected by the explosion. The cars inside the plaza were not affected.
17.36At the scene of the blast, Frank Mba confirms it was a bomb explosion. 'Our most important assignment now is to secure lives, secure crime scene," he said.
He said the nature and type of explosive used, or the casualty figure cannot be confirmed now.
He appealed to Abuja residents to stay away from explosion area.
He said the police is working with other security and emergency officials at the scene.
17.47At the National Hospital in the Central Business District, six victims are currently receiving treatment in the Emergency unit. The hospital management is unable to declare their stability at the moment.
17.52Also at the National Hospital, Seven bodies were brought to the mortuary, most of them burnt beyond recognition. But the hospital only admitted five of bodies, for lack of body space. The other two have been sent to other hospitals.
17.59The scene of the blast have now been completely cordoned off by the Nigerian Army. Traffic is also diverted and the shops around that area all on lock-down. The authorities are yet to announce casualty figures from the blast.
18.04At the Maitama General hospital, all victims receiving treatment outside the hospital building have been moved into the building and are now receiving full medical attention. Meanwhile, a NEMA van just arrived with medical supplies.
18.09At the National Hospital, one more victim has just been brought in.
21 dead in Emab Plaza Abuja Bomb blastThe police have confirmed 21 died in the bomb blast. They said 17 others were injured and 17 cars burnt in the explosion.
18.28At the scene of the blast, authorities are yet to confirm the mode of the attack. While some trader claim it was a car bomb, others claim the bombers rode on a bike and threw-in the explosive before speeding away.
18.31At the Maitama General hospital, the medical Director has confirmed 12 dead, and 35 injured.
The FCT minister (states), Olajumoke Akinjide visited and promised free medical treatment for the injured.
18.34At the wise 2 scene of the explosion, everywhere is calm. security officers still inspect the spot. A deep hole was created at the spot of the explosion.
FCT minister, Bala Bohammed visited with promises of better security.
A short while ago, some police officers arrived with sniffer dogs to help with investigation.
18.45At the scene, which is now totally on lock down, some traders who ran out of their shops, after the explosion, without locking them up are begging to be allowed back in to lock-up properly.
Meanwhile forensic investigators are still at the scene combing for clues.
18.49The News Agency of Nigeria has informed PREMIUM TIMES that soldiers have killed one of the suspected bombers and arrested another. They are quoting the coordinator, National Information Centre, Mike Omeri. They also confirmed that the attackers came on motorcycle.
18.56A trader, Emeka, told PREMIUM TIMES they had got intelligence of a planned attack on the mall as far back April, shortly before the World Economic Forum.
He said the owner of the facility stepped up security around the area. He explained that the stepped up security was apparently responsible for the 'throw-in' style adopted by the bombers.
19.22This live update is now closed. Thanks for following. Find more updates on our homepage.
Additional reporting by Amina Mohammed, Chinenye Ugonna, and Nnenah Ibeh.