December 15, 2016 – Uyo Church Accident: Akwa Ibom Struggles To Identify Victims, Allays Mass Burial Fear
The state government on Wednesday shut down fears of relations of victims of last Saturday Reigners’ Church collapse in which many worshippers died while many others sustained injuries.
Relations of the victims were apprehensive over the delay in releasing the corpses of their loved ones for burial amidst rumours of planned mass burial.
But the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, at a joint news conference, told journalists in Uyo that the need for proper identification of the victims using DNA samples, informed the delay.
According to the commissioner, four bodies that could not be identified had prompted us to bring in DNA experts from Lagos to help us out, so that families will not take and bury corpses belonging to other people.
“We know people are afraid of mass burial of their loved ones. Government has no plans for mass burial. We have embalmed the corpses, while we await DNA test, police investigation and clearance before we release the corpses to their families.
He also said that Akwa Ibom is working towards having emergency service unit, “we have people who have been trained in emergency response service and they have been very useful. So far, we have 24 nurses and four doctors.”
He also stated that the state was set to construct an Advanced Trauma Centre with qualified medical personnel and paramedics properly equipped with ambulances in strategic places across the state.
“The centre will equally have a health team, fire service and police on 24- hour basis for efficiency,” he said.