by Jewel Stephen
The Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. Olawale Oke today told reporters that the hospital has collected the DNA specimen of 115 victims of the recent building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
Oke made this information public at a press briefing to give update on steps taken to identify the victims of the disaster – most of whom are South Africans.
He said the DNA specimen have been sent to South Africa for analysis and the hospital is awaiting results.
Oke said, “You are aware that an inquest is on now; so, there is limit to what I can tell you about this.
“I can tell you that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital has collected the samples of family members of victims of the collapsed building for DNA testing at a Pathology and Forensic Medicine.
“This is to ensure that all victims of the collapsed building are properly identified and delivered to their various families for burial rites.
“The DNA is being done free.
“Because 80 per cent of the victims were South Africans, for us to take a specimen from the relations, you have to bring at least two relatives from South Africa to Nigeria.
“So, the state decided to select a laboratory in South Africa that is equally competent to do the DNA so that 80 per cent of the relations who are South Africans can have their specimens taken.
“The specimens of their Nigerian counterparts have been flown to South Africa.
“The post-mortem for all of them have been conducted, the dental recognition process done, X-rays have been done where necessary; so, we are just waiting for the results to be out.”
A guest house within the premises of the SCOAN collapsed on September 12 killing scores of people who were on a visit to the church.