An explosion occurred at the busy Nyanya Mass Transit Park at 6.55a.m. on Monday morning and killed scores of people heading to work and their businesses.
The Nyanya park is a transit point for residents of Mararaba, Nasarawa State and satellite communities of the Federal Capital Territory.
The park is used by vehicles belonging to Abuja Mass Transit Company and inter-city transporters.
The police say the explosion affected 16 high capacity buses as well as smaller commercial vehicles, some of which had loaded and were ready to leave.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that several dead bodies and human parts littered the ground in and around the park after the attack.
At 10 a.m. more than 100 victims of the blast, made up of the dead and the injured, had been deposited at the National Hospital, Mrs Rabia Labaran, an assistant information officer, at the hospital said.
The Chief Medical Director of Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, Dr Sotimehin Adetohun, confirmed that the 14 dead bodies and 37 injured persons were brought to the hospital, while two persons in critical conditions were transferred to National Hospital.
Men of the Anti-bomb Squad of the Nigeria Police, fire service, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the National Emergency Management Agency personnel arrived at the scene 20 minutes after the attack.
Rescue workers battled to take the dead and injured to nearby hospitals, including Nyanya General Hospital.
However, eyewitnesses gave different accounts of the incident.
A commercial motorcycle rider, who gave his name as Wahad, told that a man threw a bag containing the bomb into the congested park.
“I was conveying a passenger to the park this morning when I saw a man throw a big black bag into the park; the next thing I saw was explosion,’’ Wahad said.
Another eyewitness, David Lukman, however, said that the bomb was planted in a car at the park.
“I am very sure the bomb was either planted at the park last night or a suicide bomber posing as passenger entered one of the cars with it,’’ he said.
A stockbroker, Abbas Adamu, said four of his friends died in the explosion.
“I have never seen something like this in my entire life.
“My friends told me this morning that they were going to Kaduna and because I was also going to Kaduna in my car I told them to wait for me at the park so that we go together.
“But I asked them to enter the park and not wait under the bridge because road safety and VIO (Vehicle Inspection Officers) officials usually disturb along the road under the bridge.
“Seconds later, I heard a loud explosion; in fact, I can’t explain because I felt something like electric shock inside the car, and as I speak to you now, my friends are all dead,’’ Adamu said.
Meanwhile, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has confirmed the explosion, in a statement signed by its Senior Information Officer, Mr Sani Datti.
It said the explosion occurred at about 6.30 a.m. and warned residents of the area to keep off the scene of the explosion.
According to the statement, officers of the Search and Rescue department of NEMA and other response agencies had been deployed to the area.