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Over 200 feared killed in Jos explosions as corpses litter mortuary floor

File: Bomb blast at a church in Jos

Officials say 15 of the injured victims brought to the casualty unit died just before midnight.

The casualty figure from the Jos explosions has increased to over 200, disclosures by emergency and health officials and body count by a PREMIUM TIMES reporter have shown.

The National Emergency Management Agency had on Tuesday night said the casualty figure from the twin explosions stood at 118.

Abdusalam Abubakar, the North Central Coordinator of the Agency said this at about 10.00 p.m.

However, when PREMIUM TIMES visited Plateau Specialist Hospital early hours of Wednesday, an official confirmed that 15 of the injured victims brought to the casualty unit died just before midnight.

Demne Kut, a laboratory manager at the National Blood Transfusion unit of the Plateau Specialist Hospital, said most of the 15 victims died during treatment due to loss of blood.

He said although there were a few donors volunteered to donate blood, the hospital needed a lot more to treat the victims.

“Yesterday (Tuesday), we had 15 persons who came and donated bloody freely to the National Blood Transfusion,” he said. “We are calling for more donors.”

Also, apart from the dead already properly dressed and kept in the mortuary, PREMIUM TIMES counted at least 52 other corpses on the floor of the hospital mortuary including that of a little child.

Most of the corpses seen on the floor of the mortuary were women and children, including seven pregnant women.

Also at the mortuary of the Jos University Teaching Hospital temporary site, which is adjacent the blast scene, the corpses, about 100, were piled upon themselves and thus difficult to count.

The situation was similar at Bingham University Teaching Hospital.

In most of the hospitals visited, officials declined comment as they were busy trying to attend to injured victims.

However, a medical personnel at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, who pleaded not to be quoted, said about 120 corpses were brought to the hospital, while injured persons were rushed to the permanent site for medication.

Meanwhile, the Jos main market, where the two explosions occurred in a spate of 15 minutes, remained closed on Wednesday morning.

The Plateau Police Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, had said on Tuesday that the area would remain shut until the police concluded its investigations and the debris were cleared.

Mr. Olakpe also explained that corpses and the injured were taken to four hospitals.

These were the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Bingham Hospital, Jos, as well as the new and the old (temporary site) Jos University Teaching Hospital.

When PREMIUM TIMES visited the hospitals, hundreds of families and friends were seen trying to locate the remains of their relatives or the injured ones.
Christiana Paul, a 500-level Medical Laboratory Science student of the University of Jos, said seven of her course mates died in the blast.

She said five of the corpses had been found, two at the Plateau Specialist Hospital Mortuary.

“The seven of them are my course mates, we are in 500-level. They went to Terminus to shop and the bomb caught up with them. Two bodies are here at the Plateau Specialist Hospital Mortuary,” the student said in tears.

Also at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, one Usman Adamu said he came to recover the body of his landlady, Amina.

He said the victim was at the market to buy a dress for her brother’s daughter who is about to wed.

A cleric, Godwin Ejeh, of Kingdom Dominion Chapel, Dadinkowa, told PREMIUM TIMES that his 18-year old daughter, Shekina Ejeh, who was sent to the market to buy groceries, died in the blast.

Keneng Choji, a civil servant, also said she lost her daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, and a neighbour, to the explosion.

She said her daughter-in-law was a fish trader at the market.

Some of the Muslims seen at the Plateau Specialist Hospital were already taking the corpses of their relatives for burial according to Islamic rites.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast although it is believed to have been carried out by the extremist Boko Haram sect.

The group has killed thousands of people since its insurgency began in 2009.

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