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Hope dims on recovery of crash victims’ bodies

Posted by By UCHE USIM, LAGOS AND MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta on 2005/11/08 | Views: 279 |

Hope dims on recovery of crash victims’ bodies

Investigators into the crash of the Bellview Boeing 737 aircraft may have foreclosed the recovery of bodies of the 117 passengers and crew who died in the accident.

Investigators into the crash of the Bellview Boeing 737 aircraft may have foreclosed the recovery of bodies of the 117 passengers and crew who died in the accident.

The revelation came in the wake of a cry by the traditional head of Lisa village, Chief Sadiku Odugbemi over the unfulfilled promises to sink two boreholes in the village by the Bellview Airline after the unfortunate incident two weeks ago.

Speaking Monday, the Director of Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) in the Aviation Ministry, Engr. Angus Ozoka, told journalists that nothing had been found at the site by the investigators to assist them in unravelling the cause of the accident.

According to the AIPB boss, work at the site has been divided into specialised groups to ensure the conduct of a thorough exercise, adding that "apart from the forensic/pathological experts, other groups are playing their noble roles accordingly. So far, the recovery of aircraft wreckage and human parts are continuing, but no whole human body has been recovered and the likelihood of such recovery appears remote," he said.

He said that the human parts so far recovered were taken to the mortuary for preservation and forensic and pathological analysis, while the aircraft parts have been removed to a remote location for wreckage layout and examination.

On the effect the non-recovery of the black box would have on the investigation, Engr. Ozoka said it would not prevent the conclusion and final outcome of the investigation, adding that "not all aircraft carry black box and yet investigations will be concluded on them in the event of a crash." He, however, said that the search for the black box is still on.

In order to minimize the influx of unauthorised persons into the crash site, Engr. Ozoka revealed that a perimeter fence and demarcation were being constructed in the area and would be completed soon.
He commended the level of cooperation between Nigeria and United States accident investigators, describing it as cordial, saying that such cooperation should be encouraged since the aircraft was manufactured in the US and registered in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Baale of Lisa, Chief Odungbemi has condemned Bellview and government for failing to fulfil promises made to the villagers. Addressing journalists, the Baale of Lisa village, said: "We are being unnecessarily punished for a sin we did not commit. We are not responsible for the air disaster. Yet we are being treated as if we were the main factors of the disaster. We have been denied our source of water. We have been unnecessarily terrorized, embarrassed by the police for a sin we did not commit."
Chief Odugbemi who was last Thursday quizzed by the police over alleged looting of belongings of crash victims, exonerated himself from the alleged crime, adding that the villagers were responsible for the discovery of the site. "God knows what is hidden. He knows best. He knows whether I looted the site as being alleged or not."

He said that he bears no grudge against the police for doing their work, explaining that "I have regarded the interrogation as a sacrifice I have to make as a leader of this community. But I must stress that I, Sadiku Odugbemi, the Baale of Lisa, knows nothing about the alleged looting".

On the planned spiritual cleansing of the village, Chief Odgubemi said that the public misconstrued him.
"Our request of the sum of N2 million has been given different interpretations by people. Irrespective of whatever anybody says, we are going to embark on the cleansing of the village to avoid future calamity."

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Comments (2)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown