Red Cross assists victims of explosion in Nigeria

Published: 21 April 2014 10:30 CET

When an explosion ripped through a crowded bus terminal not far from Nigeria’s capital Monday, staff and volunteers from the Nigerian Red Cross Society were on the scene immediately.

“We mobilized and deployed as many people as we could as quickly as we could,” says Nwakpa On, communications manager for the Nigerian Red Cross Society. “We helped evacuate those who were injured to nearby hospitals for emergency care. We also provided first aid on the scene and psychosocial support to not only those who were directly affected by the blast, but to those who also witnessed it.”

According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), at least 71 people were killed when a parked vehicle exploded in the early morning hours. Another 133 people were injured.

The Red Cross was also called upon to assist hospital staff who were caring for the wounded and managing the dead. “Using our prepositioned stock, we were able to support the health care workers, providing four hospitals and one clinic with emergency kits, bandages, gauze and body bags,” adds Nwakpa.

“At the Red Cross, we work closely with the National Emergency Management Agency and other stakeholders, to provide assistance to victims, whether it be an explosion such as this, or a disaster, such as the floods of 2012,” says Bello Hamman Diram, Secretary General, Nigerian Red Cross Society.