Two more bodies were recovered from the site of the 21-storey building which collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos, last week, Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said in a statement Wednesday.
According to Omotoso, the recovery brings the death toll from the incident to 45.
The Lagos State government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) differ on the casualty figure arising from the collapse.
On Sunday, the acting coordinator of NEMA in the Southwest, Ibrahim Farinloye, disclosed that two bodies were retrieved at the site, increasing the death figure to 44, but Omotosho insisted that the figure was 43 and only one body was retrieved.
As of Thursday, the number of persons rescued from the site remained 15.
Identification of bodies
According to Omotoso, the identification of the bodies of the victims, who died in the 21-storey building at Ikoyi Lagos, has continued at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos Mainland.
He said the identification exercise is being conducted with samples of DNA submitted by family members.
“32 families have come forward to submit samples for DNA to identify bodies that they wish to claim. In cases where identification is clear and there are no arguments, the bodies will be released to the families,” Omotosho said.
The commissioner said the speculations that the two high-rise buildings standing at the site of the 21-storey collapsed building in Ikoyi, will be demolished is false.
“No directive has been given for the demolition of two high-rise buildings standing,” he said.
Omotoso said the Panel of Inquiry instituted into the collapse of the building has continued to sit and an integrity test on the two buildings is yet to be conducted on the two buildings.
“It is, therefore, wrong to assert or speculate that the buildings will be demolished. The operation at the site of the collapsed building continues. Vehicular movement around the site has been smooth, following the reopening of the road,” he said.
Journalists have not been allowed access into the panel instituted to investigate the building collapse, with the state saying it is a “very serious session.”
Omotoso said a committee to supervise the identification and release of the bodies has begun work, in order to release bodies to the different families.
Operation at the site of the collapsed building is ongoing.