Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State and a consultant forensic pathologist, Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa on Wednesday informed the Coroner of Alimosho District of Lagos state, Oyetade Komolafe, who is conducting the inquisition on the cause of the June 3, 2012 fatal plane crash that occurred at Iju-Ishaga area of the state that the result of the DNA tests on the bodies of some of the crash victims will be ready next week.
Obafunwa, who is also the Vice- Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), gave this information while testifying at the ongoing inquest into the Dana airline crash, according to him the chemical analysis of the samples and tissues taken from the bodies of the victims is almost concluded.
The witness further stated that at the moment, the pathology department was doing a final editing of post-mortem reports and ‘’I am expecting that the DNA results will be finalised next week.
He said, “ I will say we have completed our job on the average 80 per cent of the job is ready.’’
The witness also recounted the gory state of some of the bodies when the body bags were brought to the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH).
Obafunwa, while been led in evidence by, a counsel from the state Ministry of Justice, Akingbolahan Adeniran, said that when the body bags containing the remains of the victims were opened at the morgue, some of them contain only bone fragments while some still had body parts.
The VC also told Magistrate Komolafe that the pathology department was able to identify about 152 bodies, either complete or partially.
Obafunwa pointed out that 60 per cent of the crash victims had multiple injuries while about 20 per cent had multiple injuries and smoke inhalation.
According to him, ‘’fifty bodies were fairly complete; about 100 victims were burnt while there were also charred bodies. There are bodies with recognisable heads and some their limbs are chopped off.‘’
Obafunwa while being questioned by some lawyers namely, Anthony Idigbe (SAN), Obi Okwusogu (SAN) and Femi Falana among others suggested that the Federal Government should set up a Mass Disaster Committee comprising all the various rescue agencies in the country.
He said by so doing, the body would be able to mitigate future disasters in the country.
Also during today’s proceedings, an official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Adebiyi Babatunde Razaq, told the coroner that the agency has only one rescue plane domiciled in Abuja.
Razaq, who is an Assistant Zonal Coordinator of NEMA in South-West, also informed the coroner that the large crowd, lack of easy access and the raging fire were the challenges the agency confronted in it efforts torescuing the victims of the crash.
“We have challenge in getting access to crash site. The road was narrowed. We have to enter through the rail lines. The crowd and the road access were the challenges we faced. The equipment we brought could also not get to the crash site,” Razaq stated.
When asked by Magistrate Komolafe, if NEMA has rescue aircraft for such incident, Razaq responded that the agency has only one rescue aircraft for the entire country, which is domiciled at the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja.
In his own testimony, a police detective, Obono Ubi, faulted the claim that fire fighter got to the scene of Dana plane crash on time.
Ubi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), attached to Area G command, Ogba, Lagos, said fire fighters did not get to the crash site until after two hours after the incident.
He also faulted the claim that the explosion that greeted the crash was extinguished within 15 minutes, saying it took about four hours before the fire could be doused.
Ubi, who said he got to the scene of the crash at 3.50p.m, told the coroner that the casualty figure could have been averted if the police have fire-fighting equipment as they got information on the crash earlier than any other response agency.
“For over one hour, nobody could penetrate the fire. If fire brigade was under police custody and we have fire-fighting equipment, we could have acted faster. It was not until after two hours that the fire fighters came,” Ubi said.
A mild drama was however, introduced into the inquest, as a police officer, Mr. Olusola Agoyi was reprimanded for lying on oath.
Agoyi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and second-in-command at the state Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, had told the court the disposition he signed and presented to the inquest was not written by him.
The coroner judge had asked Agoyi to read his disposition, which contradicted his oral evidence that he was only sent to the scene of the crash only to observe and not to investigate while in his disposition he said he was sent there to investigate.
“I did not write this. The lawyer did. That is the truth,” he said.
But the coroner fumed saying he had lied on oath as that was not what he disposed to before the Commissioner for Oath.
The inquest continues on Thursday.