Saturday, 20 September 2014

COLLAPSE BUILDING: SA Moves To Bring Victims Home

South Africa government says it has made provision to ensure the families of the victims of the Nigeria building collapse are able to participate in the identification process.

Government has confirmed that 84 South Africans are now either confirmed dead or unaccounted for, out of a total of 349 who were at the Synagogue Church of All Nations at the time of the tragedy.

It says the focus of its team in Nigeria is to help survivors and identify and repatriate the bodies of those killed.

The collapse occurred when three extra storeys were being added to the existing two of a guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations compound, where visitors from abroad flock to stay.

The inter-ministerial task team set up to deal with the disaster held a meeting in Pretoria earlier on Friday.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said an assessment team deployed to Lagos comprises of medical, forensic, social development and disaster management experts.

The minister said the families of the deceased have been contacted and arrangements made for them to participate in the identification process.

Radebe said meetings are held twice daily to update the inter-ministerial task team on developments on the ground.

He said family members of the deceased have been contacted and arrangements have been put in place for them to assist in identifying the bodies of their loved ones.

The minister said due to the nature and extent of the tragedy, the process of identifying the remains requires meticulous attention to detail.

Among the members of a delegation in Lagos at the collapsed church site is Brigadier Helena Ras, an internationally recognised expert on body identification who has consulted all over the world on disaster management.

Radebe said a team of social workers has also been deployed to OR Tambo International Airport to provide support to families waiting for the return of their loved ones.


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