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Fashola appeals to bereaved families

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Says the delay in the release of crash victims’ bodies is due to the identification process

Lagos state governor (R) with President Jonathan and the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation at the crash site.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has appealed to the families of the victims of the Dana plane crash not to be disturbed as the bodies of their loves ones will soon be released to them.

The governor, who sympathised with the families, made the appeal in Ikeja on Thursday while briefing journalists on the delay over the release of the bodies.

Fashola said the delay was inevitable because the authorities had to ensure that appropriate pathological investigation was carried out for proper identification of the bodies, most of which were burnt beyond recognition.

He said the government was trying to avoid giving the wrong bodies to families, adding that the fact that foreigners were among the dead also necessitated proper identification.

“We can imagine the grief that the relatives of the victims are going through. We are doing all we can to help them through this period,” he said.

“Of course, we are mindful of the cultural and the religious issues involved but the real challenge is identifying the bodies of the victims so that we do not give the wrong bodies to the wrong families.

“I want to appeal to the families of the victims to understand why certain things cannot be done as quickly as they expect. But for proper identification, we have no reason to delay the release of the bodies.”

Fashola said the pathologists detailed to carry out investigations on the bodies had been working round the clock and promised that the bodies would be released as soon as possible.

He said the government was in consultation with religious leaders and undertakers on ways to handle the burial of the victims.

The governor again conveyed the condolences of the state government to the families of the victims and prayed for the peaceful repose of the souls of the dead.

LASEMA reported that 149 bodies were retrieved from the crash site and deposited at public mortuaries in different hospitals in the state.

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