Corpses retrieved from collapsed building in Ikoyi ready for identification

Lagos State Government said on Friday that bodies recovered from the building that collapsed at Gerard Road, Ikoyi, are ready for identification by families.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, while giving update to newsmen at the site of the collapsed 21-storey building, said the bodies were ready for identification at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Yaba.

He said that 38 bodies had been recovered so far as rescue operation entered Day Four on Friday, while family members had submitted 32 names of those still missing.

According to him, autopsy will be carried out on the corpses before releasing them to their families.

“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.

The commissioner debunked reports that rescue operation at the collapsed building site stopped since Thursday.

The commissioner said search-and-rescue was still on-going and would continue until government could account for everybody inside the building at the time of its collapse and certify also that no corpse was left behind in the rubble.

“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.

The multi-sectorial search-and-rescue operation led by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Agency is still on-going.

Construction giants like Julius Berger, Craneburg, HiTech and China Civil Engineering Construction Company are also involved in the operation. (NAN)