Some survivors of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack have recounted their ordeal and how they narrowly escaped the whiskers on Monday night.
Daily Independent had on Monday night reported that some gunmen suspected to be terrorists bombed the Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks and attacked a train filled with passengers, leaving many dead and several people injured.
The train was forced to a halt after the terrorists planted bombs on the tracks. Witnesses said the attackers later surrounded most of the coaches and opened fire before they forcefully gained access, fired at random, which led to the death of some people. Narrating their experiences, one of the survivors, who identified himself as Sani Carpenter, said he escaped from the terrorists hours after he and several others were kidnapped.
According to him, I hid in the forest and waited for security agents who accompanied the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to reveal themselves.
One of the correspondents of Daily Trust who travelled to the Audu Jangwam community along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway witnessed when the security agents returned from the bush with Sani who revealed that he had escaped the kidnappers by the grace of God.
Narrating his ordeal, he said, “The terrorists took me along with other passengers when they attacked the train in their large numbers, but as they were taking us into the bush, I managed to run away. They took many people away but I escaped through the darkness into the bush.
“While I was roaming in the bush, I saw security agencies that came this morning (Tuesday) to the scene so they picked me.”
Following the incident, many families have taken to social media where they announced the death of their loved ones while others said theirs were still missing because they could not be accounted for by authorities while their telephone lines could not be reached.
Sources at the Rigasa Train Station said two staff of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) were among the casualties even though our correspondent could not independently confirm this.
The train, which had been attacked in the past reportedly left Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, at about 6 pm on Monday before it was attacked between Katari and Rijana communities in Kaduna State.
It was reportedly conveying over 350 passengers as the train service remained the “safest’ in recent times as a result of the rampant attacks by terrorists on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, which had claimed hundreds of lives in the last few years.
However, the driver of the train and many others are still missing hours after the attack. A colleague of the driver who craved anonymity said that the train driver could not be reached since the incident happened.
According to him, “Sani left Kaduna with the 2: pm train and was expected back to Kaduna at 8 pm. He is a friend and a colleague because we were together a day before he left and we tried calling his phone since the incident but it was not unreachable.”
The colleague further disclosed that the driver is an indigene of Bauchi State who recently relocated his family to the Rigasa community.
Since the commencement of rail transportation between Abuja and Kaduna, thousands of travellers have avoided the 150km road and opted for the train, which appeared safer.
As of Tuesday morning, our correspondents gathered that about 25 victims who sustained gunshot wounds were receiving treatment at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital and St. Gerald Hospital, all in Kaduna.
“Doctors are battling to save the lives of some of the critically injured,” said a staff of the military hospital who asked not to be identified.
Our correspondents who visited the army hospital observed panicking relatives at the waiting area as they moved around the emergency section to know the fate of their loved ones. Many of them were seen praying while others were caught in deep thought while awaiting the status of their relatives from the hospital authorities.