Survivors of the Kaduna train attack have recounted their ordeal following the terrorist attack which reportedly claimed the lives of scores of persons on Monday night, with some of them saying, “We saw hell.”
Among those killed in the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna bound train was Dr. Chinelo Nwando Megafu, a dental surgeon.
Megafu, who had tweeted immediately after the accident soliciting prayers, was confirmed dead. Her remains had been deposited at the morgue of the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna, on Tuesday.
The terrorists had planted explosives devices along the rail track and when the Abuja-Kaduna bound train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail.
Megafu, a dental surgeon, had tweeted at exactly 9:43pm from her Twitter handle @nelo_x, that she was shot in the train, while calling for prayers from her followers. She had tweeted: “I’m in the train. I’ve been shot please pray for me.”
Some of the identities of those killed by the terrorists had yet to be made known, but one of the victims, Fatima Shuaibu, a student on board the train, confirmed to our correspondent that her sister, Zainab, was shot in the stomach and died, while another victim, Mohammed Isa, also in hospital, told The PUNCH, that he saw two dead bodies.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital located in the metropolis where victims who sustained critical injuries were taken to for urgent medical attention.
However, at the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, our correspondent, who was at the hospital, was told that no fewer than 15 victims were brought to the hospital.
A source who craved anonymity said, “15 victims were brought here but some of them with serious gunshot wounds were referred to the 44 Army Reference Hospital where the bullets would be extracted from their bodies.”
Fatima Shuaibu, a student of the College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kaduna State, in sobs, narrated how her sister was shot in the stomach by the terrorists and died on the spot.
She explained that as the Abuja-Kaduna train was approaching Kaduna, they suddenly heard a loud explosion, forcing the train to go off the rail track, saying the security personnel attached to the train ordered “everybody should lie down on the floor.”
She added that before they could lie down, her sister, identified as Zainab Awal, was shot in the stomach and she died on the spot, adding that the terrorists operated for 2 hours unhindered before the arrival of the troops.
She disclosed that the terrorists came in Sharon vehicles (buses) and motorcycles, adding that those that were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses.
“I was seated by the window in the train. Suddenly I started seeing touch light. It was around 8pm. Then there was a loud bang like as if something exploded. Suddenly the train went off track as if was falling down. As soon as the train stopped, we started hearing gunshots.
“The security personnel on the train announced that everybody should lie down on the floor of the train. My sister (Zainab Awal) was shot in the stomach and she died.
“They attacked the VIP coach. They abducted some people and took them to the bush, they shot other people.
“They operated for about 2 hours before soldiers and Air Force arrived and they exchanged gunshots.
“The terrorists came with Sharon buses and motorcycles. Those who were abducted were taken away in the Sharon buses.
“The terrorists were small boys of between 18 to 20 years. I saw them, they don’t look like Nigerians.
“The soldiers rescued us in the train. They evacuated us. Those of us who were injured were evacuated from the train. They climbed the cliff with us and took us to the expressway where vehicles were brought to carry people. From there they brought us to the hospital. The incident happened at about 7:50pm.
Narrating her ordeal, Maimuna Ibrahim, who was also on board the attacked train, told our correspondent at the St. Gerard Catholic Hospital that the attackers, who mostly communicated in Fulani language, were between 18 and 20 years and wielding heavy guns.
Maimuna, who said she was returning from Abuja where she went for a workshop, noted that the passengers saw hell but remained grateful to God that she was among those rescued by troops mobilised to the scene of the attack.
She said the terrorists forced their way into the coach Sp17 where she was and shot indiscriminately and were shouting Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, meaning in Arabic, Allah is great.
He added that the terrorists abducted many of the passengers whom they forced down the train, beating and kicking them.
She, however, sustained gunshot wound on her thigh but lucky enough that the bullets didn’t touch her bone.
According to her, she was unable to walk when she was shot by the bandits, adding that it was one of the soldiers that carried her on his back to the expressway before being taken to the hospital.
She said, “I went to a workshop in Abuja in the morning. I was on my way back when the attack took place.
“I was shot on the leg. But the bullet did not touch my bone. The bullet penetrated out of my leg. Honestly we suffered seriously, but thank God soldiers came and they really helped us.
“I was unable to walk, it was a soldier who carried me on the back to the car that brought us to the hospital. They carried us and were able to pass over the cliff. Seriously they tried because it was not easy climbing the cliff.
“The terrorists came into the train but they did not come to the place I was seated. I was hit by the bullet. They entered SP17.
“As they were shooting, the police security on the train asked us to lay down on the floor of the train so that the bullet would not get at us. Unfortunately before I could lay down the but hit me.
Mohammed Isa, another male victim, shortly after the explosion, the terrorists started shooting from afar “as they approached.”
Isa, who claimed he was by the window side of the train, was shot on his right arm.
He said, “There was an explosion and the train lost control. They started shooting at the train from afar, then they started coming. When they got to the train attempted to open the door but they the had difficulties, so they shot at the door.
“They were speaking Hausa language but they were Fulanis. I was shot by the window. It took over one hour for soldiers to come.”