The Lagos State Government on Friday said bodies recovered from the collapsed Ikoyi building are ready for identification, calling on families of the deceased to go to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba for identification of their loved ones.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said this giving an update about the incident.
Omotoso, who addressed the press conference in the company of the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, and the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, said an autopsy would be carried out on the corpses before they would be released to their families.
He said the autopsy is important because the law says that whenever there is death due to incidents like the collapsed building, an autopsy must be done before the body is released.
He said: “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 as from 4 pm to identify the bodies of their loved ones.
“For bodies that may be very difficult to identify, we are going to be conducting 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 from 4 pm, you should be able to see some of the bodies and be able to identify who you want to identify.
“Yesterday, Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said one of the patients at the General Hospital was taken to LASUTH for a test and all that.
“The patient has been brought back to the hospital and he is said to be doing well. And all patients who were there are doing well.”
The Commissioner also debunked reports that the rescue operation team at the collapsed building stopped the search and rescue work on Thursday.
He said work was still ongoing and would continue until the government could account for everybody inside the building at the time of collapse and certify that nobody is left behind in the collapsed building.
The multi-sectoral search and rescue operation is led by teams of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), with the support of construction giants, Julius Berger, Craneburg, HiTech, and China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).