There are reasons to believe that some victims of the recent Dana plane crash were alive in the fire, the Lagos State Chief Medical Examiner, Prof. John Obafunwa, told a coroner sitting at the Ikeja High Court, on Wednesday.
Speaking at the coroner’s inquest into the cause of the crash, Obafunwa said some of the victims had died from smoke inhalation.
“They must have been alive to inhale the smoke,” the state chief pathologist, said.
He stated that there was a remote possibility that such victims would have made it, depending on the degree of injuries sustained.
Over 150 passengers, and some others on ground, died on June 3, 2012, when a Dana aircraft crashed into a congested Iju-Ishaga neighbourhood in Lagos.
While being cross-examined in an intense, but somber session, Obafunwa identified the major cause of death of the crash victims as multiple injuries.
He said that multiple injuries roughly caused about 60 percent of the deaths, and that a combination of multiple injuries and smoke inhalation was responsible for 30 percent, while the remainder “ranged from purely smoke inhalation to just occasional fractures.”
According to him, multiple injuries are made up of various combinations of injuries like, “fractures to the skull, damage to the brain, punctures in the lungs, severe blood loss.”
“All of these things can individually cause death,” he added.
Shoddy emergency response
The inquest has, so far, brought to light the country’s poor management capability in cases of emergency and mass disasters.
Obafunwa’s deposition emphasised the need to improve on emergency response.
Obafunwa said he could not state the time of death of victims, since his team of pathologists only had access to the corpses two days after the incident.
- Daily Times