Abuja hospitals overwhelmed
Many hospitals in Abuja had a hectic time coping with the influx of scores of victims from yesterday’s blast scene. The Asokoro General Hospital was one of them. Chief Medical Director of the hospital Dr. Amodoh Abubakar told newsmen that 27 bodies were received while 25 injured persons were being treated.
Our reporter however observed over 30 dead bodies removed from a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) pick-up and kept in front of the hospital mortuary, most of them badly mangled, some burnt beyond recognition and dismembered.
Five bodies appeared in complete shape and could be easily identified. Hospital officials went around tagging and collating them before putting them in body bags. Head of Clinical Services at the hospital, Dr Henry Onyegbutulem, said the hospital had to recall workers from leave to assist with the emergency. He prevented access to the injured, saying they were too traumatized.
Also at the Asokoro hospital, Abbas Idris, the Director General of the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FERMA) told Daily Trust that his agency was going round hospitals to see how they could assist in managing the crisis. He could not confirm the casualty figure. Some people who gathered at the hospital angrily sought access to the mortuary and emergency wards to look for their missing relations. Many narrated their ordeals to newsmen, telling how missing relatives were unreachable through their mobile phones.
A distraught man named Francis said he first visited the Nyanya hospital and was told to go to the Asokoro hospital. He said his cousin’s mobile phone had gone off and was unable to locate her. Authorities at the Asokoro Hospital began making a list of possible victims. The CMD, Dr Abubakar, who conducted the exercise, collected names and descriptions from relatives.
Relatives were required to give details including names, age, gender, complexion, occupation or link to the victims and their personal phone numbers. Checks at the Wuse General Hospital revealed that 16 bodies were received at the mortuary while 51 others were receiving treatment. Chief Medical Director, Dr Obiora Chubundu, refused to talk to newsmen, referring them to the FCT hospital management board.