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Monday, January 18, 2021
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South African DNA experts in Nigeria for Synanogue Church Victims

The South African Government has sent a team of search and rescue and body identification experts to Nigeria to assist in the search for South African victims
of the church building collapse in Lagos.
Some 131 victims had been rescued, according to the the National Emergency Management Agency, which also announced that the death toll had risen to 80.
The South African Government had said on Tuesday that five different South African church tour groups, comprising about 300 people, were staying in the guest house when it collapsed.
The South Africa High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, said it was difficult to identify the remains of South African victims.
Mnguni said the embassy had deployed some of its officials in the scene of the six- storey building that collapsed.
The High Commissioner, who said he was in Lagos to monitor the rescue efforts, said on the telephone on Wednesday that many South African citizens were unaccounted for.
Mnguni said, “I have dispatched some officials to the scene to monitor and identify some of our citizens that were involved and I am waiting for their report, but you know that rescue efforts are ongoing, so we don’t know when the report would come in. We can’t give a final figure on casualty for now.
“The church gave us a list of some of those affected by the collapse, but there were some gaps and so we got back to them and they have today (Wednesday) filled in the gaps.
“The families of those that were affected in the collapse are also making arrangements to come to Nigeria and they would be taken to the morgue to identify their relations.”
He stated that 20 South Africans who were treated for varying degrees of injuries had been discharged, while some of them had gone back to South Africa.
He explained that the families of those that had yet to be accounted for are preparing to visit Nigeria where they would be taken to the morgue to identify their relations.
Church leaders refused to state the number of South Africans involved in the accident, but stated that the church has a list of all those in the building and had made this available to the authorities..
Some of the survivors returned to South Africa, according to news reports.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, says there was no plan by the government to take over the site of the collapsed.
The commissioner, who reiterated the position of the ministry that the six-floor building did not have building approval, said the state was still conducting a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the collapse.
Ayinde said, “The government does not arbitrarily take over property when investigation is still ongoing. The government is conducting a preliminary investigation into the causes of the collapse and if there is any violation of relevant planning law, residents are assured that government would take appropriate action.
“A team of engineers from the ministry and other state government agencies have taken samples from the scene for detailed analysis and testing to ascertain the structural integrity of the building.”

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