Ikoyi Building Collapse: Tears Flow Bitterly As Families Identify Corpses
A mix of emotions steeped in tears, grief and anger was obseved as families went into the mortuary premises.
Tears poured uncontrollably on Saturday as families of those who died in the 21-storey building collapse on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, besieged Lagos Mainland Hospital morgue in the Yaba area of the state to identify corpses of their loved ones, according to The PUNCH.
A The PUNCH correspondent, who visited the mortuary on Saturday afternoon, observed a mix of emotions steeped in tears, grief and anger as families went into the mortuary premises.
The skyscraper owned by Fourscore Heights Limited collapsed on Monday, trapping over 50 persons, including the firm’s Managing Director, Osibona, his friend, Wale Bob-Oseni, and personal assistant, Oyinye Enekwe.
Other deceased persons included a corps member identified as Oyindamola, an aluminium installer, his partner, Kenneth Otu, an engineer and pastor at Redeemed Christian Church of God, Living Water Parish, Ibafo, Ogun State, Ola Ogunfunwa, among others.
However, nine persons survived the incident with three of them treated and discharged from the Lagos Island General Hospital. The six others admitted are Nurudeen Solagbade, Timileyin Oduntan, Waliu Lateef, Ahmed Kinleku (a Benin Republic national), Sunday Monday and Adeniran Mayowa.
Six more survivors located in Lagos hospital
It was said that six more survivors taken to another hospital were discovered on Saturday. Some of the survivors’ near-death experience under the rubble had been reported by Sunday PUNCH.
On Saturday, many affected family members visited Lagos Mainland Hospital morgue to find out if their loved ones were among the corpses recovered so far.
They sat under two canopies mounted on the premises as a female attendant called them one after the other into an office from where they were led to the morgue for identification.
“The most recent picture of the missing person and a photocopy of the identity card of his/her blood relation are required,” the attendant announced. “You will then be called in to identify the body but you have to be strong,” she advised.
Otu’s sister, who declined to give her name, broke down in tears as she came out of the office. Flanked by four relations, she was consoled and led out of the premises.
“I have seen his corpse. They said they would contact us to collect it as soon as the governor gives approval,” she told Sunday PUNCH briefly, fighting back tears.
Shortly after, another bereaved family member surfaced from the office, looking downcast. He held his head in distraught, nodding dejectedly as he walked out of the premises together with his relations.
After a while, a light-complexioned woman in a white gown stormed out of the office, holding a piece of paper containing a female photograph.
“Let’s go,” she yelled, beckoning at a family member who had also stepped out of the room.
“They said we should bring her photograph. We went to a business centre to do a printout containing her picture and brought it only for them to say it has to be a hard copy,” the family member explained to some policemen who approached him to find out what was wrong. “Are we happy to be coming here?” the man fumed.
They returned to the office about 30 minutes later to identify their relation’s corpse. The woman emerged from the office afterwards sobbing as she was led out of the facility.
Also, a middle-aged man donning a blue native dress headed to an office inside the mortuary visibly angry. He initially shunned entreaties when some attendants tried to direct him to “the appropriate section.”
He was eventually led to where he checked his relation’s corpse. Minutes later, he came out with a frown, snapping his fingers. A family member quickly walked up to him and parted him on the back.
“It’s okay. I will be fine,” the bereaved man murmured as they both left the facility in tears.