by Tutu Akinlabi
As DNA testing begins to ascertain the seperate identities of the victims of last Thursday’s Associated Airlines crash, reports have surfaced that one of the survivors is currently battling for dear life.
Taiwo Akintunde, who is one of the burn victims currently undergoing treatment at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) ,has reportedly showed signs of deteriorating.
According to reports Akintunde has been placed permanently on artificial oxygen since arriving at the hospital and is under constant observation at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.
A source confirmed that the patient has been comatose and hanging on to life with the aid of crucial life support systems. A fifth crash survivor, Samson Hassan, who was also on admission at the ICU died on Saturday.
When Vanguard visited the surgical emergency ward of the health institution yesterday morning, it was a quiet and serene atmosphere in contrast to the previous day when family members and sympathisers thronged the premises.
Visitors were disallowed from gaining entry into the unit as health personnel on duty instructed family members to wait around or go home and come back in the afternoon. A return visit by the reporter later in the afternoon provided no reprieve as there was no senior medical personnel on duty authorised to speak to the public.
Also, final collection of samples for the DNA test is expected to be completed today. Two family members of each of 12 of the victims had submitted samples Saturday, in addition to one member of the 13th victim’s family. State Chief Examiner and Pathologist, Professor John Obafunwa, explained that DNA analysis was necessary for proper identification of the corpses.