A witness said the explosion occurred at about 4p.m.
Emab Plaza is a busy shopping mall in the highbrow area of Nigeria’s capital city, on Aminu Kano Crescent.
The explosion apparently occurred at the gate of the busy plaza.
This is the third deadly explosion in the Nigerian capital in two months. The extremist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the two explosions in April and May in Nyanya, a suburb of the capital.
Emab plaza were the explosion occurred is opposite the Banex mosque. The mosque and other nearby buildings were not affected. Some traders at the plaza say some of those affected were petty traders who sell fruits at the entrance. The explosion occurred just by the plaza gate. Another witness said worshipers were just about to say the quarter-to-four prayer in the mosque when the bomb exploded. He said some worshipers were also affected. Apart from the several deaths and injuries (figure not yet confirmed), over 11 cars and some shops at the EMAB plaza (those close to the gate) were affected by explosion. Several cars inside the plaza were not affected.
At the Maitama General Hospital, officials are now referring new victims to the National hospital, in the Central Business Distric, few kilometres away. At least nine victims have been referred. But Four ambulances are waiting outside the hospital, apparently rendering first aid. The hospital is flooded with victims and sympathizers causing another security scare. But armed soldier arrived moments ago are are trying to disperse the hospital of the crowd that have now gathered.
At the scene of the blast in Wuse 2, more senior police officials arrive. Frank Mba, Nigeria Police spokesperson, arrives scene, promises to brief journalists in next few minutes. Asks journalists to leave cordon area.
At the Maitama General Hospital, officials have confirmed at least 30 bodies with three completely dismembered. The hospital is full, our reporter said. Some victims are receiving treatment outside. Our reporter counted seven victims receiving treatments outside the hospital premises.
Our reporter counted 11 cars completely burnt in the explosion while some others suffered various damages.
Emergency officials say more ambulances are needed at Maitama District hospital “to transfer victims to other hospitals.”
Emergency workers are still evacuating the injured and bodies to Maitama District Hospital and other hospitals.
A police officer laments that the plaza made no security provisions.
“Nothing, they don’t search cars, booths, anybody can just drive in,” he said.
The fire service officials put out the fire at about 4:40 pm. They arrived about 23 minutes before then.
Fire service and emergency officials are still searching shops to see if anyone is trapped within. Injured are still being evacuated.
National Emergency Management Agency say they are unable to confirm the casualty rate just yet. Sani Batti, the agency’s information officer said emergency workers are still conducting search and rescue.
The fire has been put out. Rescue workers are now searching the shops. Witnesses say some traders are trapped in their shops.
Soldiers block off the area. More fire service officials arrive. More ambulances too. Traders say the explosion was a car bomb at the gate of the plaza. Bodies of injured are being taken to hospitals.
Emergency officials are evacuating victims to the nearby Maitama District Hospital.
Our reporter at the Maitama general hospital said at least six victims have been confirmed dead and taken to the morgue. She has also counted about 17 injured victims that have so far been brought in, including a white man with a broken leg.
Emergency officials arrived without adequate material. “Tell Joseph to come with enough dead body bags,” an emergency official tells colleagues. Soldiers arrived in large numbers. Clearing the place. Traders in tears.
Fire Service have arrived the scene of the blast. There are frantic attempts to extinguish the burning cars. Traders in the plaza said the blast apparently went off in a car that was driving into the mall.