Kaduna emergency agency faults police figures, says 16 died, 35 injured in blast

Sunday's blast is Kaduna's deadliest, witnesses say

The death-toll from the Sunday’s explosion in Kaduna State has risen to 16, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), has confirmed.   

SEMA’s spokesperson, Adamu Zakari, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Sunday that the death toll had risen to 16 persons, while 35 others were injured.  
Mr. Zakari said that a breakdown of the figure showed that five corpses were deposited at Rekiya Hospital, with four injured persons receiving attention in the hospital.  
He said five corpses, and five other injured person were at St. Gerard’s Hospital, while six corpses and six injured persons were Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital.  
The SEMA spokesman said 20 injured persons were also receiving medical attention at 44 Military Reference Hospital in Kaduna city.
It would be recalled that the state Commissioner of Police, Jinjiri Abubakar, had earlier claimed that only five persons died and 14 injured in the blast along Junction Road by Sardauna Crescent at about 8:45 a.m.
This website had noted that the casualty figure given by the commissioner was far lower than the accounts of eyewitnesses and reporters who visited the scene.
Eyewitnesses and reporters had said several charred bodies littered the scene while about eight persons were confirmed dead by rescue workers.
We further observed that Nigeria’s emergency agency and the police are reputed for playing down on numbers of casualties in disasters.
Meanwhile, two survivors, who spoke to NAN shortly after the explosion, said: “the attacker was heading to an unknown destination when the IED exploded“.  
Augustine Vincent, 25, who had burns all over his body said the bombers were on high speed which suggested that they were heading for a destination not too close to where the device exploded.  
Mr. Vincent told NAN that he was on a motorbike heading to church for Easter service close to where the bomb exploded.
He said he only heard the blast and saw smoke cover the whole area, adding that his motorcycle was damaged due to the impact of the explosion.  
He said he saw the car carrying the explosive but could not identify its number and occupants.  
Another victim, Aaron Awaje, 31, said the commercial motorcycle he boarded was close to the car carrying the explosive, adding that its operator was killed by the explosion.  
“The Okada man died instantly, but I cannot say exactly what happened from then because I became unconscious and regained consciousness at the hospital. “  
NAN reports that the bombers drove a Honda Accord 2005 model through Ahmadu Bello way heading toward Stadium Roundabout Kaduna.  
An official of the Red Cross Society gave the registration number of the car as BB 111 DKA, adding that it exploded with two bombers on board.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Sidi, has visited the scene and promised to foot the bills of all injured persons.
Mr. Sidi also visited hospitals to sympathise with the families of injured persons.


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