Death toll rises to 29 in Madala bomb blast

Tens bombed to death on Christmas Day

Four more victims of the Christmas Day bombing in Madala have died in hospital, bringing the number of casualties from the dastardly attacks to 29.

Following the early morning blast at St Theresa Catholic Church, Madala, in Niger State, the victims were rushed to different private hospitals in Zuba, Gwagwalada, Suleja and Abuja for treatment. 

It was gathered that some of the private hospitals and clinics in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the incident refused to accept most of the victims, claiming they lacked the capacity to handle such emergency situations.

The presidency was said to have directed that all the victims be transfered to the National Hospital in the Central Business District and Aso Clinic for easy coordination of treatment.

Though authorities of the National Hospital refused to disclose the exact number of victims received for treatment, a staff nurse on duty, who pleaded anonymity, told Premium Times that about 18 were brought in between Sunday evening and Monday, out of which one National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) official and two others were treated of minor wounds and discharged, while others are still responding to treatment.

The number also receiving treatments at Gwagwalada and Aso Clinics, including women and children, were not immediately known, as an official asked reporters to wait for official information tomorrow.

A source at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, where some victims are receiving treatment, said the death toll might go up because the hospital had just one life-support machine and was unable to adequately cater for those on danger list.

However, medical officials at the Diamond Clinic, Zuba, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that four more deaths were recorded on Monday afternoon  as a result of serious cuts and severe burns the victims suffered during the Christmas day blast.

The Sunday morning attack initially claimed 25 lives, though NEMA officials claimed on Sunday only 16 people died with 27 others severely wounded. 

Many of the victims were taken to the nearby Diamond Hospital, Zuba, a private facility in the area, while some others were rushed to Gwagwalada General Hospital as well as the Aso Clinic.

Meanwhile, residents have continued to blame the slow rescue response for some of the deaths, which they pointed out  could have been avoided if emergency teams and ambulances had arrived promptly at the scene, about 40 kilometers from Abuja.

The bombing, for which  Boko Haram, the dreaded terrorist sect has already claimed responsibility, is part of coordinated bombings the group unleashed on Christmas day across the country.

Meanwhile, by Monday evening, the security situation remained tensed as military personnels have since taken over the area in a bid to maintain peace following threats of confrontation between Christian and Muslim groups.

Many of the access roads to the town have since been cut off, while stern-looking soldiers and police mount road blocks and conducted searches at every corner of the town.


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