Abuja bus crash riots

Abuja Bus Crash Riots

Abuja bus crash riots

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The Abuja bus crash riots were an outbreak of violent riots following a massive multi-bus pile up at Abuja central bus station in Nigeria.

The bus station disaster

The crash occurred on the 28 August 2000 at the central bus station in the city. A gravel truck transporting building supplies to a construction site suffered total brake failure on a hill above the bus station. The truck then free-wheeled in reverse down the hill, entering the bus station at a very high speed, crushing three old buses under its considerable weight. The crash caused gallons of petrol to spill from the damaged buses which were in the process of being refuelled, flooding the wreckage and parts of the crowded bus station. A flame, from an unknown source, caught the spilt fuel, and the bus station was almost instantly consumed by an immense fireball, which killed or seriously injured hundreds of people in the station or in the crushed buses, one of which was still underneath the truck.

The bus station was in the Nyanya district of the city, which is a very poor and dangerous suburb, and thus it was sometime before emergency fire-fighter services arrived and combatted the blaze, which was mostly being fought by local people as best they could. The police did not show up until much later.

At least 70 were killed in the blast and well over 100 badly injured. The full death toll cannot be known, as there is little available census information for the area, some bodies were destroyed outright in the blaze,...
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