Emergency workers have recovered two more bodies from the site of the collapsed 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotoso, who confirmed this in a statement on Wednesday disclosed that the death toll from the incident has risen to 45.
“Two more bodies were recovered from the site today (Wednesday),” he said. “The recovery of the two bodies has brought to 45 the number of bodies retrieved from the site.
“The identification of bodies of the victims of the incident has continued at IDH, Yaba, Lagos Mainland. Thirty-two 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.”
Omotoso stated that a committee to supervise the identification and release of the bodies – comprising senior officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice – has begun work.
He stressed that the state government has not given any directive for the demolition of the two high-rise buildings standing at the site of the collapsed high-rise.
According to the commissioner, the Panel of Inquiry instituted to establish issues surrounding the collapse of the building has continued to sit and an integrity test is yet to be conducted on the 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.
The building – a high-rise under construction located along Gerrard Road in the nation’s commercial hub – collapsed on Monday last week.
While some of the victims have since been rescued and those injured treated, it remains unclear the total number of people in the building at the time of the collapse.
Witnesses, however, believe dozens may have been trapped.