Friday, July 25, 2014

Kaduna Attack: How I Lost My Eye To Bomb Blast – Survivor

From their hospital beds, survivors of Wednesday’s bomb blasts that rocked Kaduna metropolis have been telling their gory tales. The twin bomb blasts left more than 110 people dead. 
Ahmadu Bala, who was one of the victims of the first bomb blast at Alkali Road, is presently struggling to stay alive after losing his right eye to the blast.

Narrating his ordeal at the Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital where he is receiving treatment, he said he was caught in the blast after leaving the venue of the closing of Ramadan Tafsir conducted by revered Islamic scholar Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, the presumed target of the bomb blast.
Bala narrated: “I was on my way back from the closing of the Ramadan lecture at Murtala Square when I heard a loud sound and, before I knew what was happening, I found myself on the floor far away from where I remember standing.
“My head felt very heavy before I realized my right eye had been blown off by the bomb and I lost consciousness. I was rushed to Yusuf DanTsoho Hospital by a good Samaritan, I was told after I regained consciousness. I came from a village called Labar, near Jaji in Kaduna State, just to attend the lecture and I became a victim of circumstance.
“I am pleading with the Kaduna State government to look into my plight and take drastic measure to save my life and the life of others affected by the bomb.”
Five victims of the bomb blast at Alkali Road were brought to the hospital, four of them with injuries and the fifth one (Ahmadu Bala) had his right eye blown out by the bomb.
A source at the hospital told LEADERSHIP Friday: “We suggest that the government should, as a matter of urgency, fly the young man abroad for proper treatment because his eye as well as part of his skull was affected by the blast and, if it is not treated promptly, the wound can get infected and it will have a long-time effect on the victim.”
Another survivor revealed how he narrowly escaped death but had his leg cut into two. The survivor, who gave his name as Mallam Ibrahim Isa, told LEADERSHIP Friday that he was returning home with his friends from the last lecture of the Ramadan season, also called the Tafsir, when he heard a loud sound.
Ibrahim said he did not know what happened after he heard the sound until he found himself in the hospital with one of his legs cut into two. “I suddenly heard a sound and, before I knew it, my leg was cut into two. Myself and other friends were on our way home after the Tafsir when the explosion took place. Our car was not very close to the bomber’s car.”
One other survivor, Ahmadu, said his car was just a few metres from the vehicle of Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, who was reportedly targeted by the bombers, when the bomb went off. “I cannot recall how it happened. I only saw myself at the hospital. What I can remember is that we were following the Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi’s car when the explosion occurred. God has saved me from death. I heard that some of my friends died. I went to the closing of the Ramadan Tafsir from a village along Zaria Road but, unknown to me, I was going to be bombed. We pray that God will expose the masterminds of the suicide bomb explosions,” Ahmadu said.
Another survivor, Muhammed Sarki, who managed to speak to LEADERSHIP Friday simply thanked God for saving him.
Sarki, a trader at Kawo roadside market, said: “I saw the Toyota Sienna but before we knew what was happening, I saw myself in the hospital.”
An eyewitness who also spoke with LEADERSHIP Friday said that when the blast exploded, they saw a human head suspected to be the decapitated head of one of the bombers fly to a compound close to the scene of the first explosion.
The eyewitness said the sight of the head and the horror of the attack which killed scores of people on the spot filled everyone with shock as survivors scampered for safety.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the Kaduna twin-bomb explosions has risen with more deaths recorded at the hospitals.
An official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ali Baba Mohammed, confirmed that three more victims died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, while the number of victims on admission receiving treatment had gone down to 37.
A source with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told our correspondent that 13 out of the severely injured victims had died in the hospitals.
The source also added that there are fears that more victims who received life-threatening injuries are currently on danger list at the two hospitals visited yesterday morning.
According to the source, the corpses were deposited in mortuaries at Saint Gerald General Hospital, 44 Military Reference Hospital, Yusuf Danstoho Hospital and Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital.
“Our staff worked throughout the night to ensure that more lives were saved but it is unfortunate that we lost several others,” the source said.
The medical director of the Yusuf Danstoho Hospital in Kaduna, Mohammed Bello, who spoke to our correspondents at the hospitals praised the patriotism of the resident doctors who suspended their strike to provide emergency service to the victims of the explosions.
“Over 20 doctors cut short the strike and reported at the hospital to provide emergency services to the victims of the explosions.
“I must say that the response to the explosions was very encouraging. Most of the senior and junior doctors reported to the hospital to provide service to the affected victims,” he said.

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