A Photo collage of the collapsed building in the Ikoyi Area of Lagos State. Source: Facebook/LASEMA
The acting Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, Dr Sokunle Soyemi, on Thursday disclosed that five deceased victims of the 21-storey building which collapsed on Nov. 1, 2021 at Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos are yet to be identified.
The pathologist made the disclosure while testifying at the Coroner’s Court sitting in the Ikeja area.
“There were 50 victims of the collapsed building (47 male and three female),45 have so far been identified and their ages range from 18 to 56-years,” he said.
“So far we have identified 45 bodies out of 50. The autopsies revealed that 40 deceased persons had multiple injuries as the cause of death.
“Six had injuries to the head alone and died. One had a bilateral fracture of the femure, the pathologist testified.”
Soyemi also said that autopsies on the bodies commenced on Nov. 4, 2021 and lasted for 13-days until Nov. 13, 2021.
He said the remains were put in 53 body bags.
On the physical state of the corpses, the pathologist said the bodies could not be visually identified and samples had to be taken from the bodies for testing at the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Center.
“After about a month, we started receiving results from the lab. As we were receiving the results we were also releasing the bodies to families and up till now, we are still releasing bodies.
“At present of the 45 identified bodies, 42 have been released to family members while the remaining three have not been collected by family members.
“When there was a call for family members to come and donate samples, some people who were not related to the deceased came forward and the samples could not match.
“We had to call again for new samples from family members which came in about two weeks ago,” he added.
Soyemi in his evidence revealed that he never visited the site of the collapsed building during the course of his duties. He also noted that death certificates have been issued for the deceased.
The coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe has adjourned proceedings until tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 18 for the continuation of hearing.