‘I called thrice, my husband wasn’t answering’
As the scramble to locate loved ones continued in hospitals after the blast, many relatives groped about in confusion at emergency wards without much needed information.
Forty year-old Ngozi Iloha, a mother of three, couldn’t get reach her husband, an employee of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company, even after a hospital worker answered three calls she made to her husband.
“I called three times. He wasn’t answering. The fourth time, a woman answered and said my husband was at National Hospital. But they didn’t allow me to reach him. After reaching the hospital, I just saw his face”, she said.
Chima Okere went to the Garki Hospital after his boss had him moved him from the Wuse General Hospital, which was overwhelmed with casualties. Okere, who works at a private firm at Utako, was in one of the luxurious buses almost getting out of the Nyanya park before the explosion went off. He said he saw two hummer buses near the gate and wondered what they were doing.
“Before we moved towards the road, there was an explosion,” he said from his hospital bed in Garki. He survived with a gash to the back of his head. “My head was torn. I managed to get off the bus and used my shirt to tie my head. My shirt, trousers and singlet are all red.”
Doctors who treated him said he was fit for discharge later yesterday but after a skull x-ray to ascertain the extent of damage.
“This is the sort of injury called ‘walking wounded’,” said the hospital’s chief, Dr Elijah Miner, noting that such patients may sustain injuries not immediately obvious but equally life threatening.