Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Rescue workers have ended the recovery process at the scene of Sunday's crash of a Nigerian passenger plane at Iju, on the outskirts of the commercial city of Lagos, after recovering 153 bodies and several human body parts at the end of work Tuesday.
The spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, as saying the lead rescue agency had stopped further search for bodies at the crash site, having recovered all the bodies it could.
Mr. Farinloye said the stoppage of the recovery process would pave the way for the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to take over and conduct investigations into the causes of the crash.
“From our records, we have 86 males, 49 females and 12 children. We have yet to determine the sex of the remaining corpses. Out of these 153 bodies, only 40 were identifiable; we have to do what we call Disaster Victim Identification on the rest,” he said.
Mr. Farinloye said the corpses had been taken to the mortuary at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital to allow their relations to have access to them for burial.
He however said that NEMA officials would remain at the scene of the accident to assess the level of danger that the crash posed to the community as well as the fumigation of the area.
Also speaking, the Director of Air Operations at NEMA, Air Commodore Yomi Bankole, said: “Since Sunday, we have been basically handling recovery and we have not been able to rescue anyone alive from the aircraft. On ground, six people have been confirmed affected (dead) by the crash, and others who were displaced have been handed over to the state government, which has evacuated them to a safer place where they could stabilise and overcome the trauma.''
Already, the two-storey building that bore the brunt of the crash has been pulled down.
The three other affected buildings will be assessed by relevant Lagos state officials to determine whether they should be demolished or not, according to the General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Osanyintolu.
The MD-83 plane operated by DANA Airlines crashed less than three minutes to its destination at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, after about an hour's flight from the inland capital city of Abuja. It had earlier declared an emergency.
According to the flight's manifest, the plane was carrying 146 passengers and seven crew members at the time of the crash, which also killed six people on the ground, bringing the total number of casualties to 159.
The cause of the crash is yet unknown, but the local media have reported, quoting aviation officials, that its twin engine caught fire and failed before the crash.
-0- PANA SEG 6June2012