Ikoyi building collapse: Govt begins DNA testing for identification of bodies

The Lagos state government has commenced a process for the identification of bodies recovered from the rubble at the Ikoyi building collapse.

A statement released by the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said twenty-nine families have come forward to submit samples for DNA to identify bodies that they wish to claim.

“The autopsy is important because the law says that whenever there is death, as a result of such incidents like the collapsed building, an autopsy must be done before the body is released,’’ he said.

A committee to supervise the identification and release of the bodies has been set up. It comprises senior officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice.

Omotoso said in cases where identification is clear and there are no arguments, the bodies will be released to the families as from this week.

He mentioned that at the scene of the collapse, rescue operation will go on until the site is cleared and nobody is left in the rubble of the collapsed 21-storey edifice.

“So far now, we have recorded 38 dead bodies. And as you know, we have nine survivors. Some bodies are ready for identification. So, people can go to IDH, Yaba, to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

“For bodies that may be very difficult to identify, we shall conduct DNA tests for such bodies to be identified. There are rules for giving bodies to people.

“There are some of the bodies that are in a state that it would be unprofessional for the hospitals to allow people to look at them in that present state and for them to be released the way they are.

“That is why we have the little delay that we are having. But if you go to IDH, Yaba, you should be able to see some of the bodies and be able to identify who you want to identify.

“On Thursday, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said one of the patients at the General Hospital was taken to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital for a test and all that.

“The patient has been brought back to the General Hospital and he is said to be doing well. And all the patients who were there are doing well,’’ the commissioner said.

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