Otedola tanker explosion: Lagos begins release of dead bodies to victims’ families

Otedola tanker explosion: Lagos begins release of dead bodies to victims’ families

Friday, July 27, 2018 6:22 pm

The Otedola bridge tanker explosion

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government on Friday said it will begin the release of dead bodies of victims of the Otedola Bridge tanker explosion to their families for burial on Saturday.

This is after the conclusion of DNA forensic examination conducted by government to ascertain the identities of victims of the tanker explosion which occurred on 28 June, 2018 at the Otedola Bridge, inward Berger area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Twelve people were reportedly dead in the tragedy, out of which 10 burnt beyond recognition were taken for DNA forensic examination.

Commissioners for Health, Dr. Jide Idris at a news conference in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria disclosed that the DNA Forensic examination had been concluded and that the remains of the deceased would be released to their families for burial tomorrow.

According to him, all recovered victims’ remains were taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, saying that samples of the incident were picked up by the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, LSD & FCfrom LASUTH Forensic Pathologists under secured chain of custody.

“Based on the DNA analysis performed at the LSD and FC, all victims samples were successfully matched to relatives’ samples. Nine bodies have been successfully matched to nine families out of the 11 families that showed up at the LSD&FC. They are now ready to be handed over to the rightful families for necessary burial arrangement.

“Collection of these remains will commence from 10am tomorrow (Saturday), July 28, 2018 at the Seminar Room of the Pathology and Forensic Medicine Department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja,” he said.

According to Idris, this was the first time that unidentifiable victims of a mass disaster had been successfully identified locally (in Nigeria) using DNA technology, adding that the state government, through the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre completed this identification process in less than four weeks after the incident as against the over six months when the practice was to take samples abroad for analysis.

The commissioner added that rigorous effort was made in ensuring that errors were reduced to the barest minimum in order not to compound the agony already being experienced by the bereaved families.

Idris, however, clarified that it was nine bodies burnt beyond recognition that were taken for the DNA examination instead of the 10 earlier reported, explaining that the sample of one of the victims was conveyed in two sacks which gave the impression that 10 bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

He said the medical care of those injured was still ongoing at government hospitals at the expense of the state government, adding that in all, 10 patients were admitted at government and private hospitals out of which two died, three discharged and five others still on admission.

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