Lagos State Chief Medical Examiner (CME), Professor John Obafunwa yesterday told the Coroner Inquest investigating the cause of a collapsed guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), that six bodies are yet to be identified and 85 bodies identified have been sent to South African authority with death certificates, as well as embalming certificates.
Obafunwa pointed out that in addition, 25 others (comprising 22 Nigerians, 2 Benenois and 1Togolese) were identified and released, bringing the total number of deceased individuals to 110.
He said: “The identification committee sat on February 4, 2015 following the receipt of other results from South Africa. During this time, another 11 South Africans were identified and again released to their authority on February 5, 2015 thus concluding the release of a total of eight five (85) victims of South African origin.
“The respective death certificates as well as embalming certificates were also handed over to the South African authority. In addition to these figures, twenty five (25) others (comprising 22 Nigerians, 2 Benenois and 1 Togolses) were identified and released, bringing the total number of deceased individuals to 110.
“There are six (6) bodies left in the morgues (3 each in Isolo and Yaba mortuaries) that are yet to be identified.
“In summary, the victims of the building collapse comprise 60 males, and 56 females; among the male victims was a child allegedly aged 6 years.
“The distribution of the causes of death is as follows: 56 Multiple injuries, 19 Traumatic asphyxia, 19 Exsanguination, 12 Severe craniocerebral injury, 9 Haemothorax following multiple rib fractures and 1 Congestive cardiac failure following hypertensive heart disease.
“The varying injuries seen on the victims are consistent with blunt force trauma that would normally be sustained from a collapsed building.”
During yesterday’s proceeding, the Coroner Court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, admitted in evidence, a forensic report from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner (CME).
The report was admitted in evidence, shortly after the Lagos State CME, Professor John Obafunwa adopted same as his final evidence before the court.
While being led in evidence on the said report entittled, ‘Report On the Collapsed Building In Synagogue Church Of All Nations’, by counsel to the state government, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran, the witness informed the court that the delay was largely due to bureaucracy and getting the importation license from the government of South Africa.
“On September 30, 2014, we concluded the post mortem examinations. The samples for DNA examination were sent to Unistel Laboratory, South Africa about two weeks afterwards.
“The first set of DNA and fingerprinting results were sent to me on November 3, 2014. Thereafter, an identification committee was setup,” the witness said.
He explained that the task before the Chief Medical Examiner’s office was to perform the autopsies in order to determine the cause of death and identify the victims, bearing in mind that a large percentage of the victims are foreign nationals, most of whom are South African.
The matter was adjourned to March 25, 2015 for further hearing.