The University of Jos was, yesterday, thrown into mourning when news hit the campus that a yet to be ascertained number of students, including seven 500 level medical students died in the bomb blasts on Tuesday. Meantime, both the university authorities and the Police could not confirm the news at press time last night.
Vanguard investigation revealed that most of the corpses taken to the hospital morgues were women and children.
Officials also said that 15 of the injured victims brought to the casualty unit died just before midnight.
Vanguard findings were corroborated by an online medium, Premium Times, which claimed that most of the corpses seen on the floor of the mortuary were women and children, including seven pregnant women.
A hospital official said although there were a few donors, who volunteered to donate blood, the hospital needed a lot more to treat the victims.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), we had 15 persons who came and donated blood freely to the National Blood Transfusion; we are calling for more donors”, he said.
Also, apart from the dead already in the mortuary, Premium Times claimed that it counted at least 52 other corpses on the floor of the hospital mortuary including that of a little child.
It said: “When PREMIUM TIMES visited Plateau Specialist Hospital early hours of yesterday, an official confirmed that 15 of the injured victims brought to the casualty unit died just before midnight.”
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had on Tuesday night said the casualty figure from the twin explosions stood at 118.
However, 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.
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 remains of their relatives or the injured ones.
Seven of my colleagues died — Medical student
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 mortuary of the Jos University Teaching Hospital temporary site, which is adjacent to 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 yesterday morning.
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.
We’re still investigating — UniJos
Meanwhile, authorities of the University of Jos said, yesterday, that it was investigating the report that 16 of its students were among the dead in the twin bomb blasts on Tuesday in Jos which claimed 118 lives and left over 100 others injured.
The Institution’s Deputy Registrar, Information and Publicity, Mr. Steve Otowo said he could not confirm the information as the institution was still investigating the issue.
Otowo told Vanguard: “I personally went round the various hospitals yesterday but no such thing was recorded. The only student at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital with the University of Jos as his address was treated and discharged.
“I also learnt from a Medical Laboratory Science student that seven of her course mates died in the blast. She said five of the corpses had not been found but two were identified at the Plateau Specialist Hospital Mortuary”.
Otowo maintained he visited the temporary site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital where he saw two unidentified corpses while the mortuary attendant said no corpse was registered with the university as an address.
“We are still investigating and will have the true picture by tomorrow (today)”.
Similarly, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Barr. Olivia Dazyem who had earlier gone round the hospitals where the victims were being treated told Vanguard she was yet to confirm the report.
Her words: “I am yet to confirm it. I got information that some UniJos students were passing around. Investigation is on to confirm the authenticity of the claim. We will get the true picture soon”.
However, Vanguard’s check earlier showed one Jimlong Dayol with “UJ” as his address though he was said to have been discharged as he sustained minor injury.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/05/7-unijos-medical-students-die-blast/#sthash.VIHPShvV.dpuf